GATT 24 expert tells James O'Brien about need for "good regulation" post-Brexit

18 July 2019, 17:50

The fact that trade laws will still apply post-Brexit is often forgotten. GATT 24 expert explains the importance of "good regulation to enable us to live and do business in a safe way".

Chris Southworth, Secretary General at International Chamber of Commerce spoke to James O'Brien about trade post Brexit. He stressed the need for the UK and the EU to work together in negotiations with the the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to get positive outcomes.

In explaining the WTO terms, he said: "When you come out of the EU you're moving into an institution, the World Trade Organisation where you're dealing with 150 countries, you're operating on your own, you're not in a block."

He said: "You need to build alliances within that to get stuff done. And you have lots of differing interests. In other words it's a much much more complicated animal."

Mr Southworth also explained that the idea of leaving the EU and operating on WTO rules is a "very basic safety net that no country operates on".

He said in order to be effective in that institution "you have to be incredibly sophisticated and understand what your abilities are".

James O'Brien added that "there's no easily administered pill to bring home to people just how hard and complicated the reality is, and how dangerous it is to pretend otherwise".

Mr Southworth explained that the term "favoured nation" is often use to describe the principle of fairness about establishing a level playing field with all countries.

For example he said you can't agree a series of trading terms with one country and have different terms with another WTO member. Instead you have to "apply it across the board".,

The ICC Secretary General spoke about the need for political and business diplomacy to develop relationships with the countries Britain wants to do negotiations with.

He explained that the WTO's "good regulation is there to enable us to live and do business in a safe way".

He added: "The rule of WTO are there to protect everyone in the world".