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EU, Britain agree to seek same WTO quotas after Brexit


Britain and its European Union partners have agreed to ask the other members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to maintain the current level of quotas for farm produce after Brexit, EU sources said on Tuesday, APA reports quoting Reuters.

 

Since negotiations began in June between London and Brussels on how to extract Britain from the bloc in March 2019, the two sides have been working to establish a common approach to dividing up their relationship with other members of the WTO, as at present all 28 EU states are represented as a single bloc.

 

The sources said that the other 27 EU members would discuss this week what was described as a “very preliminary” agreement with Britain. The British economy accounts for about 16 percent of the EU economy but its share of EU imports from other WTO countries at preferential tariffs varies according to products.

 

It remains to be seen what those other WTO members will say to the European proposals. Even before Brexit, some were looking at possible changes in their trading terms with the EU as the Union has added new members since some such deals were struck.

 

“We have to see if other WTO states agree,” one EU diplomat said, adding that it would take time to reach agreement at the WTO.

 

No official comment was immediately available from the European Commission or the British government.

 

Neither the remaining EU states nor Britain want to have to accept greater quantities of low- or zero-duty farm imports from the rest of the world to avoid increasing competition for their own producers. But determining where such goods currently end up being consumed inside the EU customs union is problematic.

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