Britain’s commitments will depend ‘a lot’ on brexit terms: WTO

Britain is a member of the WTO but once it leaves the EU, the bloc's schedules of commitments will no longer apply to Britain

By: Reuters | Oslo | Published:October 21, 2016 3:22 pm
WTO Director-General, World Trade Organization, WTO Roberto Azevedo,  Roberto Azevedo, Roberto Azevedo Brexit, Brexit, EU, European Union, Latest news, latest world news Director-General, World Trade Organization Roberto Azevedo speaks during the Making Trade an Engine of Growth for All panel at the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings at IMF headquarters in Washington, Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. ( Source: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Britain’s future terms of membership within the World Trade Organization will depend a lot on the terms of the separation between the European Union and London, the director-general of the WTO said on Friday.

Britain is a member of the WTO but once it leaves the EU, the bloc’s schedules of commitments — a list of all its tariffs, quotas and subsidies entitlements — will no longer apply to Britain.

“Once they (the British) leave, legally the EU schedules no longer applies to them … The other WTO members arguably could say: “I don’t like it. We should change this, or we should change that’,” Roberto Azevedo told a business seminar in Oslo.

“A lot will depend on the terms of separation in the negotiations between the UK and the EU. That may have a positive impact on how the other WTO members view this or not. “I don’t think the global economy at this point in time can afford the luxury of more turbulence. The less turbulence we have the better. The quicker trade relations are established between the UK, the EU and other WTO members, the better.”