Responding to the International Trade Committee report ‘Continuing application of EU trade agreements after Brexit’, David Campbell Bannerman MEP, a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade and Board Member of Leave Means Leave said:
“When Britain becomes a third country in EU terms on 29th March 2019, legally the UK should cease to be party to the EU’s fifty plus free trade agreements, and sorting this issue out is an absolute priority as the report makes clear.
“However, if the EU agrees as part of the withdrawal agreement that these FTAs can be ‘rolled over’ – I would argue during the implementation period – and the UK can expressly negotiate and sign its own deals in the transition for implantation immediately after, then the process can be managed smoothly for all.
“It should be remembered that every single EU free trade deal includes the UK as a large economy and member state now, equivalent in size to 19 smaller EU countries put together. The EU is at risk of having to compensate all countries it has done free trade deals with for a significant loss of its market: 65 million out of 500 million people are leaving, as is the world’s sixth largest economy – ours.
“It is in the EU’s interests to keep other trading nations happy just as much as it is in Britain’s interests to keep the benefits of these deals until they are replaced by UK deals.”