Boris Johnson warned Liz Truss unable to replace EU with Asia trade deals despite success

UK trade deals 'won't make up for single market loss' says Menon

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Director of UK in a Changing Europe, Professor Anand Menon has claimed the UK has already had Brexit success but warned Boris Johnson of potential issues. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Professor Menon argued that Liz Truss has done well to improve Brexit Britain’s world standing. However, he noted that trade deals with countries in Asia would not be equal economic compensation for not accessing the European Union markets at the same level as pre-Brexit.

Professor Menon said: “Lizz Truss has been immensely active in travelling around the world signing trade deals.

“She has been making some pretty good progress on that.

“What I would say is, if you look simply at trade volumes however many more trade deals you sign in Asia, it is not going to compensate for the trade losses incurred because of Brexit.

“This is because the simple fact is we trade with the EU an awful lot more than we do the other countries in the Pacific region.”

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Professor Menon went on to add that this did not detract from the post-Brexit trade success Ms Truss was helping solidify.

But he reiterated the importance of the EU for trade for the UK’s future. 

He said: “Yes the trade deals are good and enhance Britain’s status and presence and as a part of global Britain it makes sense.

“But in strict pure economic terms, they are not going to make up for not being in the single market or customs union.”

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Professor Menon also called on Boris Johnson to clarify what his goals were for the future of Brexit Britain.

He insisted the public needed to be aware of what “levelling up” would be like in practice for trade and other issues like climate change.

He said: “We have seen a lot of rhetoric around moves to tackle the climate emergency and infrastructure.

“Boris Johnson, as ever, has come up with catchphrases: build back better, levelling up.

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“But as of yet, we haven’t really seen the actions to match those words.

“In a sense, the jury is still out on whether the Government will do what it needs to do to meet its own climate target, as of yet we don’t know.

“Whether there is any substance to levelling up it is not entirely clear because no one, including the Government at the moment, seems to know what levelling up means.

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