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With the UK out of the EU, Britain will be free to sign free trade agreements across the world but may face “tough” negotiations with China. Due to the decision regarding Huawei, the criticism of the Hong Kong security law and criticism for ethnic minorities, professor Steve Tsang from the School of Oriental and African Studies, claimed the UK will not get a favourable trade agreement with China. Due to the current geopolitical climate with China, he warned negotiations for the UK will only get more difficult.
He told Express.co.uk: “It’s not going to be any easier, it will be more difficult.
“China always takes a tough stance.
“Well, the idea the UK will get a deal which will be better than the EU is highly unrealistic.
“The Chinese aren’t an outliner.
“No one else will agree to give us a better deal than the EU.
“I think the deal will be tougher.
“Even without the difficulties, we are going to get an extremely tough negotiation anyway.”
China remains one of the UK’s largest trading partners according to Government statistics.
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According to a Government briefing paper published on July 14, the UK’s export market to China was valued at £30.7billion in 2019.
That value would mark the relationship as one of the sixth-largest and is only bettered by Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Germany and the US.
In terms of the UK’s import market, China accounts for 6.8 percent of all goods and services.
As of 2019, the overall value was registered at £49billion and accounted close to seven percent of all the UK’s imports.
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The overall trade deficit also stands at -£18.3billion, meaning the UK imports more than it exports.
The potential for tough trade talks come as negotiations with Japan and the EU have stalled.
Both Japanese and UK officials had stated their hope of a quick deal in order for it be ratified by the Government in Tokyo.
However, agreements were held up by over the export of Stilton cheese.
Talks began in June and it had been hoped Japan will wipe out tariffs on British luxury leather goods.
Despite the delay, International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss insisted a deal could still be agreed by September.
She said: “Reached consensus on major elements of deal inc. ambitious provisions in digital, data and financial services that go significantly beyond EU-Japan deal.
“Shared aim to reach formal agreement in principle by end August.”
Talks with the EU will resume this week in the hope of securing a deal by the autumn.
However, the UK’s Brexit negotiator David Frost, said an agreement could be finalised in September.
He said: “Our assessment is that agreement can be reached in September, and we will work to achieve this if we can.”
If the deal is not concluded in time, the two sides will operate on WTO rules at the turn of the year.
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