U.K. Advised to Focus on U.S., China in Post-Brexit Trade Deals

  • Trade needs ‘ruthless prioritization,’ says Global Counsel
  • India, Canada, Australia don’t merit too much time, data show

The U.K. should focus on nailing down post-Brexit trade deals with the U.S. and China and not spend too much time negotiating with India, Canada or Australia, according to a study by Global Counsel.

Using a string of metrics, the London-based consultancy found that China, the U.S., Japan and Russia offer the greatest opportunities for commercial arrangements once Britain has left the European Union and so is able to liaise one-on-one with other countries.

India was not among the top ten nations and Canada ranked 23rd, behind Taiwan, Global Counsel said. Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia are also not worth spending too much time on.

“U.K. trade policy will require ruthless prioritization,” Gregor Irwin, Global Counsel’s chief economist and a former U.K. government official, said in a report.

The criteria used by the group to work out where to focus were the strength of economies, the height of trade barriers and whether U.K. investment already flowed there. How well British exporters already did was also taken into consideration.

The reduction of trade barriers and the attempt to catch up with EU peers are
the main challenges facing the U.K. in China. Links with the U.S. are already
strong and worth intensifying, according to the report.

It is also worth trying to boost trade with Japan, South Korea and European countries outside of the EU such as Russia and Turkey, Global Counsel said.

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