Nigel Farage reckons the new President Trump can sign a trade deal with the UK in 90 days. Let’s put aside the fact that any formal trade talks prior to Brexit would be a potential breach of the EU treaties. Let’s focus on his suggestion that the private sector can do deals much quicker than the public sector.
The EU / Canadian free trade deal is 9+ years in the making and still not signed. But, according to Farage’s logic, that’s because the deal makers are used to slow public sector timescales. Not because the deal is all-encompassing and very complex. Oh, or the fact there are 29 different countries at the table. Of course, the USA and UK are just two negotiating parties rather than 29 so that should speed things up a bit. That’s presuming England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still united and all agree. But 90 days? Really? Even private sector deals I’ve advised on have taken longer than that — and no, it wasn’t the lawyers who slowed them down!
In my experience, deals often get done quickly for a few reasons:
- one side dictates terms to the other
- one side is in financial difficulty
- one side wants a quick exit
- it’s a non-binding MOU
- one side clicks an “I Accept” box to agree to standard terms
None of those sound like a good deal for the UK.