The architect of Tony Blair's Labour government and former European trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, has told CNBC that the only Brexit plan agreed with Europe cannot succeed.
From the day it launched membership talks with Britain to the last days of the country’s negotiations to leave, the EU has been ruthless in advancing its interests in one sector above all: fish.
“On issues like fishing rights we are going to discover that what the EU actually wants is a bespoke arrangement with an element of cherry-picking,” said Stephen Adams, a former EU trade official now at Global Counsel — a reference to the EU subverting some of the guidelines on future UK relations.
Britain and the EU are trying to surmount the impasse in Brexit talks with a hybrid plan that aims to avoid both a hard border on the island of Ireland and a customs border that divides the UK. “Modern association [EU] agreements have very strong level playing field provisions, even for trade arrangements that are relatively conventional in FTA terms,” said Stephen Adams, a former EU trade official now at Global Counsel.
Ajay Banga, Mastercard president and chief executive officer, Ailish Campbell, Canadian chief trade commissioner and assistant deputy minister for International Business Development, Peter Mandelson, former European Trade Commissioner and Global Counsel co-founder and chairman, and Frederick W. Smith, FedEx chairman and chief executive officer, discuss the outlook for global trade with Bloomberg Economics' Stephanie Flanders at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore on Nov. 6, 2018.
Peter Mandelson, co-founder and chairman of Global Counsel, discusses the U.S.-China trade tensions, China as a trading partner, the pressure from the U.S., where he sees the relationship going, Brexit negotiations and the U.K.'s post-Brexit future. He speaks exclusively on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Middle East" from the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore.
Liam Fox has suffered a setback in his bid to secure fast track normalisation of the UK’s World Trade Organization commitments before Brexit, conceding that Britain faces the prospect of lengthy negotiations.Stephen Adams, senior director at Global Counsel, a consultancy, said: “It’s a headache but you don’t need your own WTO schedules locked down on Brexit day one. Given the chance for other WTO members to press the UK for new concessions, this was never likely to be done quickly.”
Ying Staton, Head of Asia at Global Counsel: "Warner Bros breathed a sigh of relief recently when it was confirmed that regulators would not block the launch of Crazy Rich Asians in China. Why would a film like this have caused concern in the first place? I can think of one reason."
When the U.K. voted to leave the European Union in 2016, the British government had no chief trade negotiator and only a handful of people engaged in trade policy. As part of the EU, Britain hadn’t been able to forge its own trade deals since the 1970s.Stephen Adams, Senior Director at Global Counsel, said: "Until countries know whether the U.K. is remaining in the EU’s customs union or not after the transition, they probably won’t want to strike trade deals".
While India is often referred to as world's fastest-growing large economy, its currency has fallen by more than 12 percent this year against the US dollar. Gregor Irwin, chief economist at Global Counsel, says there are a number of factors contributing to it.
Some advice for business Global Counsel, an advisory firm, passed on a report published in Singapore by Peter Mandelson, former EU trade commissioner, and Carlos Gutierrez, former US Commerce secretary. In the face of so much uncertainty on trade, they flagged up a few tips for businesses trying to navigate the new environment.