Government Unprepared for Brexit - Sir Vince Cable

March 23, 2017 12:00 PM

Government Unprepared for Brexit - Sir Vince Cable

Vince Cable, Business Secretary in the Coalition Government, has warned that the UK is "completely unprepared and completely ill-equipped" to strike trade deals once Britain leaves the EU.

For over 40 years, Britain's trade deals have been negotiated by Europe and there are concerns that the country now lacks the expertise, experience and knowledge to restart the process of putting together international agreements. Vince said:

"These things are very complex and very difficult and the government is totally unprepared for it. We're in a very weak bargaining position. When you're in a group of 500 million people, you've got a certain amount of clout in negotiations.

"The problem that the British have is that for political reasons they have to produce agreements quickly but our negotiating position, particularly when dealing with China and the United States, is much, much weaker. They'll say here it is, this is what we want, take it or leave it."

Sir Ivan Rogers, Britain's former ambassador to the EU, wrote in his resignation letter that "serious multilateral negotiating experience is in short supply in Whitehall."

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