The following article appeared in the Daily Telegraph and appears with permission of the author.
Britain is leaving the EU. One of the claimed advantages of doing so is that we will find it easier to negotiate new trade agreements with non-EU countries, such as the US, Japan or Australia, because we will not need to satisfy the interests of 28 separate member states to get a deal. When can we start to take advantage of this?
Well, obviously no new trade agreement could come into force until after Brexit. But could we negotiate and ratify new deals so they started to apply on the day we leave the EU?
Philip Hammond seems to think not. Returning from discussions in China in July, the Chancellor said the informal discussions about investment with his Chinese colleagues were “about as far as we can go while we are members of the European Union”.