Liam Fox has predicted many EU commerce offers that the UK must re-agree with different international locations will “go all the way down to the wire”.
The worldwide commerce secretary defended his efficiency after reviews that solely six out of 40 of the agreements are anticipated to be rolled over in time for Brexit.
He was branded “incompetent” by his Labour shadow, Barry Gardiner, following the leak of a “state of play” grid from inside the division.
The doc, obtained by The Solar, confirmed six offers are on-track to remain in place by 29 March: Chile, Japanese and Southern Africa, the Faroe Islands, Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Switzerland.
Among the offers are with blocs of nations, as they select to barter in a gaggle to hold extra heft.
Commerce offers “off-track” for roll-over included Canada, Central America, CARIFORUM (African, Caribbean and Pacific international locations), the East African Group, European Financial Space, Pacific, South Korea and the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique.
However most commerce offers fell into the “considerably off-track” red-coded column, together with these with Ukraine, Mexico and Egypt – coming to 19 in complete.
4 extra had been labelled “inconceivable” – Algeria, Turkey, Moldova and Japan – whereas an additional two – Singapore and Vietnam – should not but in drive beneath EU legislation.
A authorities supply advised Sky Information the doc was outdated and “would not present the entire commerce image”.
The cope with Switzerland was signed-off earlier this week.
Mr Fox was hauled earlier than parliament to reply an pressing query on Tuesday, insisting some commerce settlement negotiations had been at an “superior stage”.
He admitted many extra “will go all the way down to the wire” as a result of “that is the way in which international locations do enterprise”, and promised to replace UK corporations on future progress quickly.
Mr Gardiner hit out, repeating the worldwide commerce secretary’s notorious boast that every one commerce offers can be able to roll over “one minute after midnight”.
He additionally accused Mr Fox of “grandstanding” by looking for commerce offers with different international locations as an alternative of securing of getting on with “the basic work of securing what we have already got”.
Tory MP Ken Clarke referred to as for the UK to stay a part of a customs union with the EU, so the bloc’s commerce offers apply mechanically to the UK after Brexit.
He warned that shedding the agreements would have a “disastrous” influence on companies and that international locations like Japan and South Korea would demand “higher phrases” for the rollover of offers “on the expense of the UK”.