Conservative MP Tom Tugenhadt, the chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, shared a letter he sent to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, questioning “the viability of building the UK’s entire economic foreign policy” on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
“As you know, this change would force UK businesses and supply chains to adapt to a new and substantially less liberal trade and regulatory architecture overnight,” he said.
He highlighted the example of China, which he said “only selectively applies WTO rules” and the United States which is “openly hostile” to its dispute settlement system and has threatened to withdraw entirely.
“Could you explain the rationale for basing the UK’s future global trade strategy on an organisation which our US partners view as no longer worth supporting?”
He added that the WTO officials have themselves described any UK reversion to its trade rules as “relegating ourselves from the Premiership to the third division”.
“This would be an unfortunate, to put it mildly, outcome for the world’s fifth largest economy and could lead to major economic repercussions. It is also a surprising policy for a government that has spoken about Global Britain and putting international trade at the hart of its policies to strengthen the UK.”