Thinktanks unveil 'controversial' plan for US-UK Brexit trade deal

Thinktanks unveil radical plan for US-UK Brexit trade deal

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The “ideal” US-UK free trade deal has been drafted by two thinktanks, which would include unhindered movement of workers between the two countries.

The report also suggests that the NHS would benefit from being opened up to competition from the US but acknowledges that would be “extremely controversial”.

This “ideal” trade deal has been created by UK-based Initiative for Free Trade (IFT) and US think tank the CATO Institute.

 They also support zero tariffs on goods and no regulatory barriers to trade.

A trade deal with the US has been one of the UK Government’s key aims after the UK leaves the European Union.

“The Ideal US-UK Free Trade Agreement” was edited by Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan.

Experts from 11 thinktanks on both sides of the Atlantic contributed to the draft agreement.

However, sceptics have expressed concern about opening up the UK market to American imports such as chlorine-washed chicken and the NHS to US health firms.

 

‘Rewrite the rules of global trade’

Matt Kilcoyne, of neoliberal think tank the Adam Smith Institute and co-author of the report, said: "Together the US and the UK have the clout to rewrite the rules of global trade.

"This deal would be about freeing citizens of the two largest English-speaking countries to trade without impediment, to be able to move for work and change their stars.

"Britain's future is bright, so long as it doesn't just buy into the status quo or join in trade wars against her own citizens. Instead, the UK must seek to bring down barriers and push up prosperity."

Tom Clougherty, from the Centre for Policy Studies, another co-author of the report, said: "This isn't just an ideal free trade agreement between Britain and the United States; it is a model for how trade liberalisation can and should work in the 21st-century."

Dan Ikenson, from US think tank the Cato Institute, said the project was aimed at persuading policymakers and the public that a "comprehensive bilateral trade and investment agreement removing all barriers to trade across all sectors of both economies without exception is in their best interests".

A Department for International Trade spokesman said: "We are committed to forging new trading relationships that create jobs, boost our vital industries and benefit people across the whole of the UK.

"We are currently seeking a wide range of views about four potential free trade agreements, including with the USA, and we encourage all interested organisations and members of the public to make their voices heard through our online consultations."