Britain starts work on its role as an independent WTO member after Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May promised to begin formal exit talks with EU leaders by the end of March, but refused to give a “running commentary” on the development of Britain’s negotiating strategy.

She says she wants “maximum possible access” to the European single market after Brexit. Last week, senior cabinet minister David Davis suggested the government would consider paying for this.

May has stressed she wants to control immigration, putting her at odds with EU leaders who say freedom of movement is a prerequisite for membership to the single market.

In a speech to the WTO last week, Fox said: “Britain stands ready to take a leading role within the WTO.

“We have the diplomatic experience and economic gravity to be a considerable ally to those countries who share our values on free trade, and our vision for the global economy.

“Director-general (Roberto) Azevedo has already offered his support and that of the WTO secretariat as we consider our transition to becoming an independent member.”

AFP

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