Negotiations about the shape of the UK’s post-Brexit trade arrangements would have to start from scratch after a leave vote in the EU referendum, the head of the World Trade Organisation said as he admitted there had been no preliminary discussions with the UK government.
Roberto Azevêdo, the WTO director-general, said he expected any talks to be long and difficult, adding: “We haven’t had any discussions about the process. We don’t know what the process would be. We do know it would be a very unusual situation.”
From City AM, yesterday…
UK's transition out of the European Union will be fast and smooth and there will be no disruption to trade, the head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said today.
Roberto Azevedo vowed that the UK would not face a vacuum or a disruption when it leaves the bloc and it would continue to be a member of the WTO.
Azevedo has been in discussions with the trade secretary, Liam Fox, and vowed to make the transition as smooth as possible. His comments will reassure some who fear uncertainty and repercussions on trade if Britain did not secure a trading arrangement quickly.