Friday, December 7, 2012

Sometimes europhiliacs are incomprehensible

Mostly one can understand why europhiliacs like Lord Taverne ask questions but there are times when their thought processes are incomprehensible. Why did he put down this Written Question:
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the current trade agreements between the European Union and non-European Union countries.
What was going on in his mind? What did he hope to achieve? The answer is that there are quite a few trade agreements between the European Union and non-European countries.
At present, the European Union (EU) has bilateral and regional trade agreements with the following countries:
free trade agreements (FTA) with Chile, South Africa, Mexico, and South Korea;as part of the wider European Economic Area, FTAs with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland; andnegotiations with Central America (El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama), Andean Nations (comprising Peru and Columbia), and Ukraine have been concluded, and will be ratified in due course. Negotiations are ongoing with other countries or groups of countries, namely: Canada; India; Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay and Paraguay); Singapore; Malaysia; Vietnam; Moldova; Georgia; Armenia; and the Gulf Co-operation Council.
Furthermore, the Government are supportive of negotiations starting in 2013 with Japan, the USA, Morocco and Thailand.
And that is not all:
In addition, as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a multilateral trading system for the 157 member countries, the EU is party to both the general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATTS) and general agreement on trade in services (GATS). The EU also has various other trade agreements with other countries or groups of countries: association agreements (AAs), economic partnership agreements (EPAs), stabilisation and association agreements (SAAs), partnership & co-operation agreements (PCAs) and memberships of the Customs Union.
It would appear that trade with the European Union and its member states does not depend on being members of the European Union. Is that what Lord Taverne wanted to know?

1 comment:

  1. I think he intends to go down the line of "why should we have to set up trade deals of our own with these nations, when we already have them in place as a direct result of our EU membership.

    Obviously he wont go into any detail about it. But worded that way you can see it would make a good sound bite on the BBC, maybe even convince the odd beano reader too.