Britain’s former business and trade minister said the government is “completely unprepared and completely ill-equipped” to strike trade deals once Britain leaves the EU.
Sir Vince Cable, who was Secretary of State for Business from 2010 and 2015, told Business Insider: “These things are very complex and very difficult and the government is totally unprepared for it.”…
Sir Vince highlighted Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent visit to India as an example of the government’s lack of preparedness for trade talks…
Sir Vince told BI: “When Theresa May rushed off to India and was basically told to take a running jump — they just hadn’t thought through the practicalities of negotiating a trade agreement with India which produced mutual benefit.”…*
Last month Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg also warned that Britain’s lack of negotiating experience may lead to “very hard Brexit.” [Business Insider]
Which reminds me:
* The problem with making a trade deal with India is immigration. Conservatives who both want to cut immigration and strike a trade deal with India after Brexit are pursuing a mutually contradictory policy. As Vince Cable previously wrote:
The main irritant in UK-India relations is visas. In the absence of creative ideas on freeing up immigration and visiting rights from India, ministers will continue to get a flea in their ear in Delhi. And nothing is more irritating (and incomprehensible) to the Indians than Britain’s self-harming and very silly policy of counting overseas students against the immigration total; the services of our universities are amongst the few British products Indians actually want to buy.