It has emerged that an Indian-origin trade pundit has joined forces with a former Brexit minister to launch new draft proposals for a future free trade agreement (FTA) between the UK and European Union (EU). His name is Shanker Singham and he is the chief executive officer (CEO) of free market consultancy Competere and Director of the International Trade and Competition Unit at the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) think tank.
He claims that unlike other trade agreements which could take many years to negotiate, the UK can conclude an FTA with the EU more quickly. "We know the EU wants to do a deal with us because they have repeatedly told us so. We also know that unlike other trade agreements which can take years and years to negotiate, this one should be concluded more quickly," said Singham.
Citing three main reasons he said, "First, unlike all other trade agreements, we have the unique starting point of identical regulations and as well as zero tariffs and no quantitative restrictions."
"Secondly, the proposed FTA is a sound basis for future agreement as it is based, wherever possible, on existing EU agreements with other nations. Third, the FTA approach also respects the integrity of the European Single Market and Customs Union and builds on the EU's original offer of a comprehensive FTA with the entirety of the United Kingdom," he stated.