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Draft discussion document - Post BREXIT trade deals
Almost 3 months after the conclusion of the EU referendum, the UK still appears to be in a honeymoon period.

The dire predictions of economic contraction and recession have been avoided for now, if only because of prompt action by the Bank of England and a wait and see attitude by businesses.

The issues are now how and when to start negotiating our exit from the EU, and the sort of trade agreement we wish to entertain.

The Conservative administration does not appear to be in any hurry to start the process, not least as the establishment never imagined the electorate would vote Leave, and have been caught off-guard.

The general consensus is that the process will start in 2017, with a conclusion by 2019.

There is a considerable weight of opinion that the government will have to repeal the European Communities Act first, if only to be seen to be following procures and to allow MP’s a protracted debate, and their 5 minutes on TV.

This could be in lieu of a dedicated parliamentary debate and vote on BREXIT, since a majority of MP’s actually voted Remain.

The government would then presumable invoke Article 50, triggering a 2 year period of negotiations to dis-engage from Europe.

The first action that needs to be done at this time is the formulation of a negotiation position and the recruitment of trade delegations to facilitate negotiations

There are five recognised forms of trade agreement this country could ascent to, and the details below are taken directly from the following BBC article:

The Norway Model - Member of European Economic Area, full access to single market, obliged to make a financial contribution and accept majority of EU laws, free movement applies as it does in the EU.

It could be argued that the UK electorate have already rejected this trading model and it would be unacceptable to a sizeable minority of the general public if only because free movement was one of the most contentious issues.

The Swiss Model - Member of the European Free Trade Association but not the EEA, access to EU market governed by series of bilateral agreements, covers some but not all areas of trade, also makes a financial contribution but smaller than Norway's, doesn't have a general duty to apply EU laws but does have to implement some EU regulations to enable trade, free movement applies though.

The Turkey model - Customs union with the EU, meaning no tariffs or quotas on industrial goods exported to EU countries, has to apply EU's external tariff on goods imported from outside the EU.

The major drawback is that it does not cover agricultural produce, or services.

The Canada option - Ceta free trade deal with the EU has yet to come into force, gets rid of most tariffs on goods, but excludes some food items and services, and stipulates need to prove where goods are made.

The Singapore and Hong Kong approach - City states do not impose import or export tariffs at all - a unilateral free trade approach. This is closest to a WTO framework, although there are issue with such a solution, since it reputedly contains many default tariffs.
One thing that should be carefully considered is when Article 50 is to be triggered. At the moment the government is talking about early next year. However, it has been made clear by a number of EU parties that no serious negotiations can take place until after the German elections. So if we trigger in February (current best bet) we have seven months of hanging around before real negotiations start. Then if there is a change of government in Germany we will have to wait for them to form a policy. It would be better to delay the triggering of Article 50 until after the German elections.
I must agree, caution needs to be applied to this subject. The UK news media give very little information about what is going on in Europe. France24 and Al-Jazeera English show a very hostile and uncooperative intent from France etc. We were paying over the odds subsidising the EU and that has fallen on Germany. This changes the whole paradigm. 
I expect UKIP to make hay in the meantime. The Liberals need to have an angle that works both ways. We must, however, be critical of the dominance of multinationals over the EU policy, politicians waste and the politician's gravy train. I am always in favour of wage column compression in large organisations this could be another attack. They are spending taxpayers money on themselves. Many taxpayers are in straightened circumstances. It reminds me of Charles Bradlaugh (LIB - Nottingham) asking Randolph Churchill why he was receiving a pension of £500 pa for something an ancestor had done centuries ago.

Let us not be wholly.
Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

I think I've been as guilty as others of wanting to put a timetable to things, and to see real evidence that a negotiating strategy and staff are being formulated.

This was triggered by the haste that some European politicians and Eu bureaucrat's have shown in wanting us to leave. 

Activating Article 50 too soon will leave us as a nation very badly placed.

Leaving it too long will lead to claims of foot dragging, which will be pounced on by an otherwise deflated UKIP.

I'm not sure the electorate would understand the need to wait for national elections abroad, having voted leave, they
will be expecting action early in 2017.

The Remain campaign has effectively abandoned the post-referendum debate, and this leaves a serious imbalance in future public debates.
I would disagree with the comment that the Remain campaign has effectively abandoned the post-referendum debate. There is a very active Remain campaign that is still fighting to stay in the EU, and has no intention of giving up. The latest polls indicate that if the referendum was re-run today the vote in favour of remaining would be 72%.

The big problem that the Remain campaign have at the moment is that the media just do not want to know. It is getting very difficult to get the word out that there is still strong opposition to us leaving the EU.
Could the argument be made for a new European Alliance, a Commonwealth as is Liberal Party policy? Could a 'Campaign for a New Europe' be created around this, approaching groups such as EFA and other internationalist sympathisers within an EU which is beginning to crumble?
Post Brexit, and in discussions with the European Union, I feel the UK needs to sign up to current animal welfare, workers rights and environmental legislation. Such legislation has been fought for by an alliance of progressive forces across Europe and to surrender them would have a detrimental effect in these areas.

Regarding trade and employment deals with the current EU (as one does go with the other),we must not forget there are large numbers of Britons working or living in the EU or who may wish to work or live in the EU at some point. Therefore the adoption of some UKIP or Tory right wing policy of 'pulling up the drawbridge' is impractical and unacceptable. As many pundits have predicted, access to the Single Market would depend upon free movement of labour. What I would suggest is adapting the present 'unmanaged' free movement of labour into a 'managed' free movement of labour. This would involve access to the UK under a 3 month visa, whereby citizens of EU countries have to support themselves for this period and find employment if they wish to remain, with rights of citizenship after a certain period. Such a deal I believe could be brokered, as well as being largely acceptable to citizens of the EU and Britain
Admittedly we may still have to pay a small levy to trade within the Single Market, but the benefits of access to the single market, as well as increased trade with the rest of the world would outweigh any outlay. At the same time this 'managed' form of free movement would provide the benefits of immigration for which this country still depends, whilst limiting the negative impact.

I still believe the goal of a 'Commonwealth of Europe' as described in the Liberal Party manifesto is a good thing, and that we still need dialogue and co-operation in areas such as climate change, human rights and animal welfare. A policy of 'working towards this', I believe is still very much worthwhile.

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