Lack Of UK Trade Staff Muddies Post-Brexit Waters

July 29, 2016

Ranking high among the litany of challenges plaguing the United Kingdom as it prepares to exit the European Union is its considerable lack of trade negotiators and other critical personnel, a problem that experts stressed will need to be tackled immediately to craft meaningful new trade policy.

The EU maintains sole control over trade negotiations for its member states, and national governments have seen their influence on trade in Brussels sharply curtailed over the last several decades.

At the very least, the U.K. may want to make tweaks to the portions of the EU schedule the country has opposed in the past but could do little to change. Dechert LLP partner and former EU negotiator Miriam Gonzalez stressed that this will take the type of deep-seated trade knowledge that the U.K. may not possess at this juncture.

"For that, you require people who really understand the World Trade Organization and the international trading system," Gonzalez said. "Those are not necessarily negotiators themselves but people with a good knowledge of the nitty-gritty of the rules."

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