Theresa May’s arrogance triggers such a fundamental Brexit disaster, the UK media is covering for her

Theresa May superimposed over the UK and EU flags
James Wright

Theresa May has overseen such a serious Brexit disaster that the UK media appears to be covering for her.

Moldova, along with six other nations, is reportedly intent on blocking the UK from re-joining the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) ‘Government Procurement Agreement’ post-Brexit. The major agreement gives mutual access to government contracts across the 47 countries signed up, representing a $1.7tn market.

Outside independent media, though, not a single UK outlet appears to have reported on the matter at the time of publication.

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Has Conservative arrogance cost the UK fundamental market access?

Now we’re leaving the EU, any country in the procurement pact can block the UK reapplying. And May’s strict immigration policies haven’t treated Moldova, a small country between Romania and Ukraine, very well. Because the Home Office previously denied Moldova’s WTO delegation entry to the UK to discuss Moldova’s post-Brexit relationship with the UK.

Moldova’s economic counselor to the WTO, Corina Cojocaru, told Bloomberg:

I couldn’t get a visa and a diplomatic passport to go to London to negotiate on government procurement. Nobody listened to us for six to seven months.

So Moldova is vetoing UK access to global public contracts, such as the $837bn US market.

Held to ransom

Leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has said:

I think we are heading to WTO and I think WTO is nothing to be frightened of.

But the reality may be that tiny nations like Moldova can hold Britain to ransom post-Brexit. Beforehand, the UK was included within the agreement as a member of the EU. But now, the US, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and Ukraine have reportedly joined Moldova in highlighting the unsatisfactory nature of the UK’s application.

A Department for International Trade spokesperson told The Canary:

We welcome the support of the overwhelming majority of the 47 WTO members signed up to the Government Procurement Agreement who want the UK to continue to be a part of it after we leave the European Union.

We have made significant progress to get to this point and we will be working closely with other members in the coming weeks to ensure that an agreement can be reached in good time.  This is in everyone’s interests as the UK is a huge part of this agreement and businesses in other countries would gain access to £68 billion worth of contracts a year.

The thing is, it looks like the UK is already in a worse negotiating position because of Brexit. Countries as small as Moldova or as large as the US can use their power to pressure an isolated UK into concessions. That the mainstream UK media hasn’t reported on this major global trade problem amounts to a cover-up.

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James Wright