Britain hopes to conclude 40 trade agreements with 70 countries by the end of the transition period after Brexit in 2020, revealed the Foreign Minister Liam Fox. According to him, the negotiations with all these countries have already started and they have agreed to such a result. The UK will have to continue to observe the current EU trade deals during the transition period.
Britain will leave the EU on March 29, 2019, and the proposed transitional period – according to which most current trade agreements will remain in force – will last until December 31, 2020.
Under the UK and EU proposals, the idea is London to be able to negotiate future trade deals with third countries during the transitional period, but will not come into force until January 1, 2021.
Liam Fox said the number of commercial transactions that will start operating after the transition period will depend on the negotiations.
“We will have agreements that we will be able to continue with the European Union’s agreements, we hope to have about 40 such agreements. We hope we will make them before it is time to leave”, said Liam Fox. “There are about 70 countries and 40 agreements. We hope they will all be ready because they are an extension of what we have at the moment”, added he.
“Of course, we require the consent of all the parties involved. We had spoken with all 70 countries. They all agreed that they would like to have such deals”, said Liam Fox.
The British Foreign Minister said he wants the UK to seize the opportunity to “negotiate beyond the borders of the European Union”. “We have 14 working groups in 21 countries at the moment, and I hope we will make enough progress because we need to have a confident and optimistic agenda for the future of the UK”, added he.
The talks have already begun with Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Fox refused to exclude the possibility that the transition period could continue beyond the 2020 deadline, but said “is unlikely to happen”.