BREXIT and Ag Trade

(Vincent Amanor-Boadu) The other thing this has done for the rest of Europe is it has made them aware of the complexity of leaving. So if nothing at all, Britain has become a case study of how not to get out of international unions once you become part of it because you become very entangled in a lot of ways. I don’t think we have anything to worry about as far as trade goes. As they exit the EU a number of things happen with respect to trade. The rules of exporting now move from Brussels, the capital of the EU, to London. But those have always been in place, so it’s not like we are going to get brand new phytosanitary regulations to guide us because Britain is an independent signatory to the World Trade Organization, so they’re going to abide by those rules. So I don’t see any radical changes in trade. And besides, we traded with Britain, not with the European Union. The advantage of the European Union is that access to 28 countries has a single document. I don’t have to do 28 papers if I’m shipping out. If Britain decides to have different phytosanitary rules, different export controls, yes, we might fill another paper if we are going to ship to Britain and then ship to Germany. So we’ll have two papers to fill. I don’t see that being very different from what it is right now because we are not changing the rules of international trade. This is not a WTO activity. We are changing how Britain engages with the rest of Europe. I think the president was right when he told the British people that UK will go to the end of the line if they leave, because what is going to happen is we are going to proceed. I mean the British are only a very small component of the European marketplace. We want the European marketplace. I mean, as much as our historical friendship with the UK remains and all that, from a pure economic strategic perspective we will choose Europe because it has a larger population than the UK if it comes to that. So I see the trade negotiations going on, and when that is completed we’ll now have to turn around and tell the UK, “This is the deal we have. You take it or you leave it.” I mean depending on what the deal is, I can see our negotiators playing that card very effectively and watching the UK come on board.

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