The UK is at cross-roads over its future trade policy. ‘Betting on a US trade deal to replace an EU trade deal is a high-risk game’ say tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg.
Alex Altmann, a partner at the firm, said: “The US elections are pointing to a win by the Democrats, who are critical about the UK’s exit from the EU. A US trade deal with Joe Biden in the White House will only work if the UK reaches a sensible Brexit deal with the EU first.
“But even if we see a different outcome of the US election, putting a US deal before a comprehensive EU trade agreement does not make sense for various reasons. Fifty-one percent of consumer goods in the UK are imported from the EU and imposing unnecessary trade barriers with your biggest trading partner, like expensive tariffs is not wise.
“Furthermore, 58% of foreign direct investment in the UK comes from European companies, compared with around 29% from the US. Shutting the door on European investors does not help businesses recovering from the economic problems we face next year.
“There are some £640bn of annual trade at stake. The EU is offering the UK a trade deal with tariff-free trade in goods as well as minimizing barriers in service sectors. The business community hopes that a trade deal with the EU can be concluded so that at least some degree certainty returns.”