June 7, 2016 | Larry Elliott
Negotiations about the shape of the UK’s post-Brexit trade arrangements would have to start from scratch after a leave vote in the EU referendum, the head of the World Trade Organisation said as he admitted there had been no preliminary discussions with the UK government.
Roberto Azevêdo, the WTO director-general, said he expected any talks to be long and difficult, adding: “We haven’t had any discussions about the process. We don’t know what the process would be. We do know it would be a very unusual situation.”
Trade has featured heavily during the referendum campaign, with much debate about whether a post-Brexit UK would seek to retain its membership of the European single market or aim for a looser arrangement in which exporters had the same access as other WTO members.
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