Brexit negotiators must avoid conflicts of interest

Because there are too few British trade negotiators, the UK Government is recruiting expertise from friendly nations, including Australia and New Zealand. Many of these staff have previously conducted talks focused on the extraction and food industries  that are mainstays of Antipodean economies, so UK firms from these sectors might take heart that their issues will be understood. But the UK also has to avoid any perception of conflicts of interest. These could come about by UK-employed foreign negotiators having one eye on supporting their own native markets, or how Brexit is viewed by their home countries’ major trading partners. For example, China is the biggest foreign market for both New Zealand and Australia, with more than 30% of Australian exports going to the Chinese.

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