Crawford Falconer UK’s Top Trade Negotiator
The New Zealander in charge of negotiating the UK’s trade deals once Brexit is finalised, has begun his tenure. Crawford Falconer has taken up the post of chief trade negotiation adviser at the Department for International Trade.
Leaving the single market would mean the UK would have to establish new bilateral trade agreements, but cannot formally do so until after Brexit. However, one economist suggested Falconer would already be “building bridges” with the European Commission.
Falconer has more than 25 years trade experience. He has represented New Zealand at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and held various posts in foreign and trade affairs in his home country.
Prof Alan Winters, from the University of Sussex’s UK Trade Policy Observatory, said Falconer’s experience and contacts at the WTO would mean the groundwork for separating UK trade policy from Brussels would be made easier.
“He knows quite a lot of the main players at the WTO and can build bridges at the European Council, which is good as there is work to be done right now,” Winters said.
“There is work he can do, such as discussions on whether the UK uses replicas or changes trade agreements that we have with nations by way of membership with the EU.”
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said of the new appointee: “Crawford Falconer brings a wealth of international trade expertise to our international economic department, ensuring that as we leave the EU, the UK will be at the forefront of global free trade and driving the case for international openness.”
Original article by BBC, August 21, 2017.