WTO rules to protect UK exports

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

The move to World Trade Organization (WTO) export rules, should a ‘no-deal’ Brexit apply, could provide opportunities and protection for UK international trade, according to Edwini Kessie, WTO director of agriculture and commodities.

In this exclusive video interview, recorded at the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board’s export conference this week, Kessie outlined the positive impact that WTO rules would have on UK exports.

“If the UK were to become a WTO member in its own right, then definitely it would be able to rely on the key principles of the WTO, including the non-discrimination principle, which would ensure its exports are not discriminated against by other WTO members,”​ he said.

“Likewise, it would also be able to rely on the national treatment principle, which would ensure countries would not give favourable treatment to their domestic produce over imported products.”

Level playing field

The WTO rules would also provide the UK with a level playing field when it came to trade disputes between export partners, said Kessie, as well as protection from illegal subsidies to the food and beverage industry.

The prospect of a no-deal Brexit and the creation of trade tariffs with the EU, where there once were none, could limit trade volumes, said Kessie. However, he was optimistic that adopting WTO rules could open up many more markets for the UK to export to and develop.

Meanwhile, a no-deal Brexit scenario would mean no animals would be exported to the EU until the UK has been ‘listed’ as a third country.

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