David Davis MP

The Tory MP David Davis has been made Minister for Brexit, Theresa May revealed last night.

But he doesn’t seem to know how EU trade deals are negotiated.

A few weeks ago, during the EU Referendum, he posted a series of tweets arguing for Britain to leave the EU and then negotiating deals with the major EU countries. (hat-tip @StevePeers)

There’s one major problem with this – EU countries by law cannot negotiate bilateral trade deals with countries.

There is very little wiggle room here, as Ian Dunt points out:

If the UK and the EU enter into negotiations in good faith they could authorise those talks. But there’s not that much good faith about and EU leaders are irritated by Britain’s constant demands for a bespoke single market, its vote to leave and the continued uncertainty around its negotiating position.

And just to reiterate, EU leaders have said the UK cannot have any informal trade talks until we trigger Article 50 to leave.

But David Davis says he is in no hurry to trigger Article 50. So in the meantime, we are stuck in limbo….

And we have a Brexit minister who doesn’t understand EU law

  1. John Pointing says:

    This could only be because Dave thinks that just because Great Britain is leaving the EU will cease to exist: the power of his thoughts is egregious!

  2. I think you may well find a lot of EU countries shitting themselves at the thought of losing the UK shilling, which could cause a lot of tension between individual countries over negotiations. EU law will shortly be broken to get Italy out of the s**t, just as it was to ease Greece into the union. And that, is why we don’t really belong in that organisation, and never have …

  3. Is it just wishful thinking on my part that both sides can just be a little bit gown up about this. Ever since the decision to leave, voices from both camps has been little better than bellicose playground politics. FFS grow up both sides it is in no ones interest to see either side ‘lose’ here. That said, the potential for the EU to implode is palpable

  4. Or could it be he knew that it was impossible to make different deals with different EU countries but he thought it would persuade people to vote leave who didn’t realise?

  5. Unfortunately there are a lot of deluded people out there and they have little idea of what actually is involved in ‘Brexit’. Roy – I suggest you click on the link above and read the article by Ian Dunt, although I expect that it is very unlikely to shake your solid but misplaced conviction in our negotiating power. It is even more alarming that those now ‘in charge’ of this process are among the deluded and misinformed. If you think Italy is in the shit you ain’t seen nothing yet.

  6. Unfortunately there are a lot of deluded people out there at the moment which is why we are in the position now. Roy – I suggest you click the link above and read the article by Ian Dunt, although I feel sure this will not shake your misplaced conviction in the negotiating power of the UK. It is significantly more alarming that those in charge of the process have no idea of how this will be achieved. The way this is going it won’t just be Italy in the s**t as Roy so eloquently puts it.

  7. @ Roy: As Cameron’s “negotiations” totally proved, the EU leaders know that we need them much more than they need us. They can make up their trade with us elsewhere very easily, but for us to make up over forty per cent of our trade will not be so easy. Like most Brexiteers you are being delusional – and that is REALITY, not “talking Britain down” …….

  8. Davies understands EU laws and knows that EU forbids individual states from making unilateral trade deals. This whole charade is to put pressure from EU countries on EU Commission to allow unilateral deals or make a EU wide deal. Some EU countries (Germany, France, Italy) have a lot to lose from not making a deal (EU or unilateral). For example 20% of Germany’s car manufacturing is exported to UK do you think they want their industry to collapse because of pi-headedness by EU Commission. UK is a net importer with EU so it’s more in their interests than ours to make a deal.
    If they won’t make a deal we walk away – there’s a big world out there beyond EU and already trade deals are being worked on that until now were forbidden (India, Australia, NZ, Korea, China, USA. Our politicians have to play hard ball and not compromise on sovereignty, democracy, immigration. I have confidence in our negotiators and the way the Cabinet has been structured so it’s time everyone got behind the process

  9. Cameron’s negotiations proved EU’s intransigence and inability to reform. The figure of 40% of our total trade being with EU is because much passes through Europe en route to elsewhere but is counted as ‘trade with Europe’. Since the referendum stocks and currency rates have surpassed previous levels, and countries are queuing up to make bespoke trade deals. Of course individual EU countries will make deals with us – despite not being allowed under EU rules; that’s one of the reasons for our disenchantment with the EU: it is a corrupt institution.

  10. Why wld we have to make up forty percent. We are never going to stop trading with eu countries even if we have to do it under wto rules. Its only the deal that needs to be agreed. We have as much right to say how we will let them sell to us as the other way round. Who do they think they are???

  11. The delusion as mentioned above, is that the whole 40% will disappear … the terms may be worse, most know that. As for the negotiations, that was before they were staring us leaving in the face. A German car company cannot make up its trade with us easily at all – high numbers at high margins, but you can pretend that if you like. The whole protectionist nature of the EU will be exposed by “punishing” the UK, making more people living on the continent rebel against it.

    The whole remain argument seemed to be based on “don’t rock the boat” – oh and incidentally – we are ALL “Brexiteers” now, deal with it and move on …

  12. Nobody is a Brexiteer until article 50 has been activated. The referendum isn’t law binding. It was a glorified opinion pole. If parliament chose to go against it, they can do by law. To be honest I’ve accepted the referendum result, dispite the whole thing being based on lies to get the votes they wanted. What I can’t accept is now nobody is prepared to get on with sorting out this farce of a situation they have put us in. People resigning from their positions. The whole thing is shambolic.

  13. Simon Rattray says:

    Ah Roy Miller the new voice of Britain..a tyranny of the majority (however small) with no consideration for the thoughts, feelings or indeed physical life effects on the minority,,,,we can all look forward to a bright future …as long as we agree with Roy (COZ HE WON).

    Now where have we seen this arguement before?

  14. Seb the European says:

    Not even a majority, let’s face it. If we are supposed to respect all opinions (including those of racists and liars) how about the opinion of the people who abstained from the vote? Many probably did so because of disgust at what has turned out, thanks to the leaders of the leave campaign, to be one of the most revolting episodes in British political history, and the muck does not stop swilling.

  15. I don’t understand how the EU might go about negotiating a trade deal. Is the UE not simply the administration function of a trade deal?

  16. David Davis appears not to be alone in his lack of knowledge on EU or trade deals in general, a real advantage for our future prosperity. Roy Miller among others, like many Brexiteers who , lets face it simply want to turn the clock back, period . Roy appears to be part of some mythical colonial re-enactment society with Britannia on the roof of his car . Suggest he pours himself a strong coffee and joins the reality of 21st century

  17. Dave: No, the EU, the EEC and the Treaty of Rome always were much more than mere trade deals. The idea from the beginning has been to intertwine european economies and governments to such an extent that none of the members could ever go to war with one another. This in turn gave birth to projects like the Tornado, Eurofighter or Airbus where one nation makes the engines, another the wings and a third the fuselage. All in the spirit of Winston Churchill’s United States of Europe.

  18. Roy Miller: My sister lives in Germany and the mood of the german population is ‘Finally we can get rid of the UK, they never really were part of it anyway.’ Nobody over there is worried about their jobs even if car sales would drop 15%. Happened before and there were no job losses. Some manufacturers like Siemens have guaranteed their german employees jobs for life after the ’08 crisis anyway. Only about 6-7% of german exports go to the UK, even if all those were lost Germany would still have an export surplus.

  19. I am really appalled of the lack of knowledge by KEY UK negotiator on the basics of the EU, and also the lack of the most basic knowledge by many posting messages. The most basic foundation of the EU is the Common Custom Tariffs, i.e. common trade block. The EU is a SINGLE trading block, all members trade freely between each other and thus have a common trade position towards the outside, a single common tariff. The EU negotiates as a block. The trade commissioner negotiates on behalf of the EU (deals ratified by the member states). There is no such thing as a deal with Germany that grants special access compared to France. Otherwise the Renault just transits to Germany to export to UK anyway. A single market with different trade deals is an oxymoron. The EU IS NOT A PROTECTIONIST MONSTER. In fact it is a internal free market an the biggest importer from developed and developing countries. Some people need sometimes to learns a bit.

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