The UK government is also conducting trade negotiations with countries that do not currently have trade agreements with the EU, such as the United States, Australia and New Zealand. The British Chamber of Commerce in China (BCCC) has called on the UK government to prioritise trade negotiations with China and work towards a bilateral free trade agreement as the world continues its fight against the COVID 19 pandemic and Britain tries to develop a post-Brexit economic strategy. While free trade agreements are aimed at boosting trade, too many cheap imports could threaten a country`s producers, which could affect employment. The European Union`s free trade agreement contributes to EU growth: in 2018, the EU was the world`s second largest exporter (15.5%) before the United States (10.6%) China (15.8%).  A free trade agreement aims to promote trade – usually on goods, but also sometimes on services – by making it cheaper. This is often achieved by reducing or eliminating so-called tariffs – taxes or taxes on cross-border trade. The EU is also conducting its own debate on Chinese investment. In recent months, Germany has become increasingly cautious about the impact of Chinese technology on 5G on security. So the UK will soon face a dilemma – if there is a division within the EU over how to work with China, will we be closer to the Chinese-sceptics or parts of the continent that are pro-China? “At the bilateral level, the UK and China have encouraged constructive trade relations and the two economies remain complementary. This is particularly the case for the UK`s role as a global leader in services, innovation and China`s growing leadership in new technologies. The British Chamber of Commerce in China is calling for the UK to have a more open and transparent dialogue with China,” he said.
Although an extension of the Brexit deadline is allowed until 29 March, there is no guarantee that a postponement of the contract deadline until the end of June will also work. The EU has its own elections in May and the political wind of change that is gathering around Brussels is likely to lead to the departure of a large number of existing MEPs. To date, more than 20 of these existing agreements, covering 50 countries or territories, have been shaken up with the exception of the I.V. and will begin on 1 January 2021. Based on 2018 figures, this represents about 8% of total trade in the UK. But it is clear that new agreements with some countries will not be ready in time.