As negotiations on a final Brexit deal with the EU begin, experts from the University of Salford Business School offer advice to the negotiating team.
Dr Maria Rana, expert in economics and finance, said: “According to the UK Government, one thing is certain: “the UK will be leaving the single market and customs union at the end of 2020, taking back control of borders, and beginning to strike trade deals around the world”. This is easier said than done. Especially because the UK’s strategy for trade policy after Brexit, which aims to strengthen ties with countries like China, India, Australia, New Zealand and the US, is not really working to plan.
“Negotiating reasonable new trade deals, without compromising, requires a long time, and we all know what is at stake with the US. Who would like chlorinated chicken on their plates or having to pay to see the GP? Not being able to negotiate trade deals with the EU would put the UK in a very vulnerable position.
“The UK’s current account has been historically in deficit since 1984, reaching a record level of 5.2% of GDP in 2016 (the year of the Brexit referendum), recovering to 3.5% in 2017 and deteriorating again to 4.3% of GDP in 2018.
“This is mainly due to a widening of trade deficit with European countries not in the EU. Additionally, the UK’s trade surplus with non-EU countries in 2018 was at its narrowest since 2012. The UK now holds the largest current account deficit among other advanced economies (ONS, 2019). UK’s negotiators should not forget that the EU remains an important trade partner, with almost 48% of UK goods exports (worth £145 billion) going to the EU. If they do not do so the impact on the availability of goods and access to things like healthcare could be under threat.”