Business leader believes Trump could break Brexit impasse

Business leader, Willie McCarter believes a trans-Atlantic free trade area could solve Brexit impasse.
Seamus McKinney

THE former head of the International Fund for Ireland has suggested Donald Trump may hold the answer to the Brexit impasse.

Willie McCarter has suggested President Trump could help create a new trans-Atlantic free trade area involving the US, the EU and the UK.

A former chief executive of international clothing giant, Fruit of the Loom, Mr McCarter said the UK could ask the EU to postpone its exit from Europe until negotiations leading to the trans-Atlantic trade area were finalised.

“Recently on his visit to the UK, he (President Trump) offered to negotiate a free trade agreement between the UK and the US and shortly afterwards he agreed with President Juncker during his visit to Washington that the US and the EU would negotiate a major trans-Atlantic free trade area.

“In view of this, surely it would make sense for the UK to immediately approach the US and the EU to be included in the negotiations leading to a trans-Atlantic free trade area and, at the same time, to ask the EU to postpone the exit of the UK under Article 50 until the outcome of the US UK EU negotiations becomes known,” Mr McCarter said.

The Co Donegal businessman said the UK Brexit negotiations could also continue but at a “less frenetic pace than at present.”

A highly respected businessman, Mr McCarter last year put forward an eight-point plant to break the impasse in Brexit negotiations.

Under the plan, he suggested UK business, commerce and industry would agree to pay £10 billion a year, raised by a levy on invoices.

This would offset what the UK currently pays the EU and could be paid to the EU on a permanent basis. It would also be preferable to the expected £20 billion a year cost of operating export and import structures post-Brexit.

In return, the EU would negotiate a new Customs Union and Free Trade Area with the UK and would waive the expected £39 billion upfront “divorce payment” demanded of the UK.

The UK could seek new arrangements worldwide which would be adjudicated through a UK-EU court and all existing arrangements between the UK and Republic of Ireland would be upheld.

Mr McCarter said his eight-point plan could still provide the basis for the UK withdrawal from the EU and could be beneficial to all sides.

“There is no doubt that the UK has decided democratically to leave the EU but if the above were to be implemented, that exit would take place in a smooth transition and in the process the UK would be part of a free trade area covering over 60 per cent of world GDP and over 800 million consumers,” he said.

Mr McCarter said the trans-Atlantic trade area and eight-point plan would also ensure the continuation of the peace process.

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