A message from Australia September 9, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Hot on the heels of the news from Japan that they’re not exactly gruntled by Brexit, here’s Australia. Now, Brexiters made great play of the opportunities for trade with Australia (23m inhabitants), Canada (35m), New Zealand (4m). And indeed who could disagree with them. Compared to the EUr of er… 444m citizens those sure look like green fields.
And Malcolm Turnbull, PM of Australia and a man with his own problems, was quick to welcome Brexit and the prospect of a trade deal. That enthusiasm has abated though, or so it would seem. Because Britain isn’t the only state that Australia has to engage with. Or rather there’s another suitor.
Australia’s trade minister has told the UK that any post-Brexit trade deal between the nations will have to wait for his country to complete parallel negotiations with the European Union.
Steven Ciobo said it would most likely be at least two-and-a-half years before formal Australia-UK talks could begin, as Britain would have to complete its exit from the EU before this happened.
Oh sure, the pill is sugared to a point.
[Liam] Fox’s department announced on Monday night that the prime minister, Theresa May, and her Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, had agreed to set up a bilateral trade working group to “focus on scoping out the parameters of a future ambitious and comprehensive Australia-UK free trade agreement”.
However, Ciobo said the trade deal could only happen “when the time is right”, adding that it might not be for another three years if, as has been suggested, article 50 of the EU treaty is not triggered until 2017.
All of this was entirely predictable. All the stuff about trade deals being easily arranged was moonshine. And of course, on that it takes two to deal and both parties will come to the table seeking benefits… oh wait… here’s Ciobo again:
While the eventual talks “don’t necessarily have to be tough negotiations” given the countries’ close relations, the minister said, they would be complex.
“Negotiating trade deals is fraught with complexity,” Ciobo said. “There’s always domestic sensitivities between negotiating parties, concern and consideration needs to be given to particular industries.”
Exactly. The appalling childishness and naivety – no I’m being unfair to children in that first part, but naivety on display from the tribunes of the official Brexit campaign is yet again brought into shape focus. Again we have seen how the belief that all will regard ‘free’ trade with the UK as an unalloyed good, that it will sweep all before it, whether supposed “allies” like Australia, Canada and New Zealand or trading rivals like Japan, is not quite surviving contact with reality.