No deal Brexit analysis: How UK could push for WTO overhaul and champion free trade


On Sunday, Prime Cleric Boris Johnson once again repeated his readiness to go ahead with a no lot Brexit if the talks with the EU continue to be deadlocked. Speaking by phone to his Wax counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki, Mr Johnson promised Britain would bargain “constructively” in face to face talks that resumed today. Degree, he reiterated his position that the UK is ready to leave on what he referred to as “Australia terms”, interpretation without a trade deal.


A Number 10 spokeswoman, issuing a readout of a phone confabulation with Mr Morawiecki, said: “On the UK’s future relationship with the EU, the Prime Abb welcomed the agreement on both sides to an intensified process of negotiations in July.

“He rumoured the UK would negotiate constructively but equally would be ready to leave the metastasis period on Australia terms if agreement could not be reached.”

The statement refers to the existing employment relations between the bloc and Australia, which generally follow Superb Trade Organisation (WTO) rules with the exception of specific agreements on unchanging goods.

As trade talks with the EU drag on with no breakthrough in notice and chances of no deal grow, unearthed reports shed light on the WTO and what Britain’s strenuous role in the intergovernmental organisation might mean for the rest of the world.

No practise Brexit analysis: How UK could push for WTO overhaul and champion free transact (Image: GETTY)

In an entry for the London School of Economics (LSE) blog, Stephen Woolcock, a lecturer in oecumenical political economy, argued that the WTO is in poor shape, partly due to worries between the US and China.

Mr Woolcock wrote: “Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the fraternity trading system was not in great shape. Trade protection was averted in the aftermath of the 2008 monetary crisis thanks to a shared commitment to resist protectionist responses on the in behalf of of the major trading powers.

“But over time, protectionist measures press grown.

“After years of trying, the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) in the In seventh heaven Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations effectively came to an end in around 2014 with no palpable progress.

“Then the incoming Trump administration initiated an aggressive, unilateral patronage policy in an attempt to force its trading partners to make concessions.”

The pandemic is now on hunt down to create an economic recession on a par with that of the Thirties, when beggar-thy-neighbour ways including trade protectionism brought about a collapse of the trading combination.

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US President Donald Trump (Image: GETTY)

World Trade Organisation (WTO) (Appearance: GETTY)

To avert a similar outcome, Mr Woolcock reasoned, the multilateral, rules-based trading system needs to become more resilient.

According to the Professor, a multilateral process rests on the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which is in turn supported by three piers: rules to provide the framework for trade and investment; a mechanism for resolving disputes; and yields for monitoring the implementation of the core principles and rules.

However, according to Mr Woolcock, this post of the system is now being violently shaken by the US, which has blocked all appointments to the Appellate Bulk on the grounds that the dispute settlement system – and the Appellate Body in special – is doing more than is set out in the 1995 Understanding on Dispute Settlement.

The Professor endured: “This US veto of new appointments effectively neuters the dispute settlement organization because any party that has a decision go against it in the main panel transform only needs to appeal the decision.

“With the Appellate Body out of influence nothing happens and the system reverts to one in which trade disputes are clear up by threats or the use of power-based strategies.

“That clearly favours the more dynamic economies and governments that are willing and able to wield this power – in other terms, the USA and China and disadvantages everyone else.”

Britain’s active role at the WTO’s record, particularly after a no deal Brexit, though, could help diminish change and drive the much-needed progress to facilitate global trade.

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Last International Trade Secretary Liam Fox (Image: GETTY)

International Barter Secretary Liz Truss (Image: GETTY)

In its first self-governing speech given at the WTO in February, the UK’s Ambassador to the WTO and UN in Geneva, Julian Braithwaite, intimated plans to modernise and reform the WTO and to “encourage and empower developing countries to behaviour a role in shaping the global trade system”.

Mr Braithwaite said: “The perseverance and predictability of this system remains vital to all of us and the UK is committed to supporting the supranational institution that underpin it.

“There are big challenges facing the WTO today and it is vital they are addressed.

“The UK will play its part in doing so.”

International Occupation Secretary Liz Truss added at the time “This is an historic moment which commitment give us an independent voice at the WTO for the first time since its inception.

“We on be speaking up on issues that matter to people and businesses in Britain, including essential UK industries like fisheries and digital trade, as well as championing lavish trade against the rising tide of protectionism.

“The WTO is under significant press, with all its functions under strain. So, it is more important now than at all times that, as one of the strongest supporters of free trade globally, the UK rises to the take exception to and does everything in our power to help strengthen and reform it.”

Moreover, conforming to a recent report by The Times, Britain has been tipped to play a critical role at the WTO, with former International Trade Secretary Liam Fox being lined up as a nominee to lead the organisation.

The former Cabinet minister was sacked by Mr Johnson ultimately year, but he has remained loyal to the Prime Minister and would be a popular fitting among Tory backbenchers.

His biggest rival for the nomination is thought to be Peter Mandelson, the ci-devant Labour Cabinet minister and EU trade commissioner, who would be unlikely to get the nod from Downing Drive.

Dr Fox has close links in Washington and would need its support, or backing from one of the other big WTO power middlemen, to land the job.

However, support from the Trump administration could backfire absent in the world, given the President’s attempts to sabotage the workings of the WTO that be dressed created the biggest crisis in its 25-year history.

Ministers have until July 8 to put up a candidate and will meet this week to discuss the issue.

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