Pacific Alliance and EFTA after Brexit for the United Kingdom
Sawako Uchida and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The exiting of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU) means that ample new opportunities abound after Brexit is finally done and dusted. In recent times Colombia and Iceland have both pointed in the direction of the Pacific Alliance and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) respectively. Therefore, the current leader of the United Kingdom must act quickly once all obstacles are out of the way.
Colombia, following on from favorable comments by Iceland, made it clear the free trade bloc of the Pacific Alliance involving Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, provided ample opportunities once Brexit is finally implemented. President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia hinted strongly that a “huge opportunity for British business” existed based on a mutual agreement with the Pacific Alliance.
Similarly, the Foreign Minister of Iceland, Lilja Alfredsdottir, stated publicly that Iceland would welcome the United Kingdom back into EFTA. This organization consists of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. At the same time, joining EFTA after implementing Brexit will enable a firm footing for the United Kingdom within Europe.
The Foreign Minister of Iceland said, “The EFTA countries might make an agreement with the UK… We are chairing the EFTA right now and I put it as a priority to analyze the possibilities that EFTA had on this front.”
President Santos even indicated that while the Pacific Alliance deals with the EU, that a future agreement between this bloc and the United Kingdom could be even more fruitful. He stressed, “What I said to Prime Minister May is, ‘listen, we are ready to simply have a free trade agreement with the UK and have the same conditions or even improved’, because many times in free trade agreements with a group of countries some countries object to some issues and maybe we can even go further.”
It is important for Theresa May, the current leader of the United Kingdom, to focus seriously on EFTA and the Pacific Alliance – and other future international initiatives. After all, the financial markets, international corporations investing in the United Kingdom, and the powerhouse of London in the realm of international trade, needs reassuring.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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