Technically speaking, none of this look at this site should be happening yet: the Shared this UK exit negotiations do not formally start until Article 50 is triggered in or before March, and Britain is not technically supposed to engage Telling my sister about this in trade talks until it has formally left the EU (which won’t happen for at least two years). But all the same, to judge from what we’ve been hearing on the floor at Retweeted Davos, both processes are already well under way. This is a dramatic shift from a month or so ago, at which stage there were growing concerns that visit this web-site ministers and civil servants were dawdling ahead of one of the greatest peacetime administrative challenges in history. However, I understand that talks are already well under way with a whole range of non-EU countries, as well as with those other nations already signed up to free trade agreements with the EU. UK Trade Secretary Liam Fox is in Davos alongside the Prime Minister, doing a series of private bilateral meetings with other countries, including his Australian counterpart Steven Ciobo. Indeed, the Australian finance minister, Mathias Corman, told me informal trade talks were already under way, and that a trade deal could be concluded “very quickly”. As it happens, Australia is a past master at fast trade negotiations. While many countries take many years to talk through these things, Australia negotiated a free trade agreement with the US in less than a year. Moreover, according to senior UK government sources, it is not just Donald Trump who is determined to get a free trade deal with Britain. Many Republicans in Congress and other members of the incoming administration are understood to be determined to seal a free trade deal with the UK sooner rather than later – in part to burnish their own anti-protectionist credentials. But before you get thinking that the process over the next few years will be a walk in the park, it might be worth bearing in mind some comments from Michael Noonan, the veteran Irish finance minister.
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