Article 24 of the WTO treaty.

Mon, May 28, 2018

It's quite horrifying how much government and the people in it don't know....

Article 24 World Trade Organisation (WTO) General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)

"This is an extremely important plus for the UK because both the EU and UK are WTO members and must both abide by the WTO GATT rules especially article 24. It means that once we leave we could have at least 10 years of Free Trade with the EU anyway...."

WTO GATT Article 24 explained by JRM



Thu, 29 Nov 2018

Security exemption in WTO rules could enable tariff-free [NI/RoI] cross-Border trade


Related
WTO - No hard border required

Barnier: Irish Border problem Manufactured

Why do Gov't not know this?

I'm sure they do; May et al ignoring WTO rules to claim UK must remain in EU?

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From all the disagrees, seems @irlsgt does not like facts. Is there a Fairy Tales thread it can go and live in?


"If we vote to leave, then we will leave." They promised...
Maybe read and watch what you actually post and not just the headline

Article 24 allows for FTAs or CU

So what exactly is being proposed here?:

Maintaining the status quo by up to 10 years in order to:
(a) create a FTA with the EU
(b) stay in the EU CU but leave the EU itself
(c) create a EU-UK CU

Bearing in mind there must be a preliminary agreement to use Article 24, both the UK and EU would have to agree to use of Article 24 and there could be complaints.
 
If a free trade agreement between the UK and EU were to be completed, and that free trade agreement were to include the mutual provision of services, then UK and EU citizens would be able to provide the covered services within each others territories within the limits specified by the treaty. That would include travel to the territory of the other party to provide those services.

However, it would not be a backdoor means of immigration, as limitations would be included (e.g. a time limit on the number of months per 'x' year period) to prevent permanent settlement, and the scope and type of services (e.g. IT security consulting allowed, but not hair cuts) would be limited to those specified in the treaty.

It's hard to get more specific than that as the details would be subject to negotiation.
The last thing needed is an agreement where governments define what or how a company can deliver services to another company. Australia tried that when it killed the 457 visa and the result is a skill shortage that is seriously screwing business.

If the EU imposes restrictions on British expertise working in Europe, the loser will be those European economies who buy the services.
 
Maybe read and watch what you actually post and not just the headline

Article 24 allows for FTAs or CU

So what exactly is being proposed here?:

Maintaining the status quo by up to 10 years in order to:
(a) create a FTA with the EU
(b) stay in the EU CU but leave the EU itself
(c) create a EU-UK CU
Option "a", or some variant thereof. When I say "some variant thereof", the transition period may involve the status quo or it may involve a draft of the proposed new treaty, depending upon the state of affairs at play at the time in question.

Bearing in mind there must be a preliminary agreement to use Article 24, both the UK and EU would have to agree to use of Article 24 and there could be complaints.
In the video with Rees Mogg and the academic trade expert both were in full agreement that Article 24 is only of relevance to a situation where the EU and the UK have agreed to negotiate a free trade agreement. Without that, it is moot. They spent 5 minutes of arguing with each other in order to come to the conclusion that they were actually in agreement, but that was the end result.

The main Brexit proponents do appear to want a free trade agreement with the EU though, with something based on the CETA treaty apparently being the assumed starting point. What they don't seem to like though are certain provisions in the withdrawal agreement. However, there is no necessity to have a withdrawal agreement in order to have a transition period while negotiating a free trade deal. That is what Article 24 provides for. Indeed, I suspect that the proposed withdrawal agreement itself may depend upon the use of Article 24.

So if it becomes evident that a no-deal Brexit is inevitable, then the UK and the EU could still agree to negotiate a free trade deal and use Article 24 to cover the gap. The issues which were to be dealt with by the withdrawal agreement won't of course have gone away, and will then get folded into the trade negotiations themselves.

Should the EU however decide for political reasons that they don't wish to negotiate a free trade deal with the UK, then of course Article 24 would not come into play and there would be no transition period.
 
The last thing needed is an agreement where governments define what or how a company can deliver services to another company. Australia tried that when it killed the 457 visa and the result is a skill shortage that is seriously screwing business.

If the EU imposes restrictions on British expertise working in Europe, the loser will be those European economies who buy the services.
The Australian 457 visa is a different issue from trade in delivery of services. That was a means of providing temporary foreign employees to employers in a wide range of jobs, many of whom were being paid below minimum wage. Canada had a similar visa (TFW), which was also being heavily abused by certain companies and was cut back in 2014 in favour of more emphasis on faster processing of permanent immigration.

The trade in delivery of services is where someone with a high level of skill is required to deliver on a specific contract for a limited period of time. No labour market survey is required, but the person providing the services must have a high level of skill (university degree, or a comparable level of skill in certain specialities). This is not intended to be used as a means of filling roles that would normally be taken by regular employees.

"Free movement" in the EU is apparently being used extensively in certain industries to bring in foreign employees from outside the EU from as far away as the Philippines and paying them as little as 2 euros per hour for them to do things like drive trucks in western Europe. They live for months on end in their trucks in appalling conditions. A "trade in services" agreement of a free trade deal would typically exclude these people, but would cover things like project oriented IT consultants or civil engineers.

So, "trade in services" covers one end of the scale, a 457 or TFW visa covers the other end of the scale, and EU style "free movement" covers the entire scale. The last of these has the fewest limitations, but it also has the fewest controls or limits on abuse.
 
The Australian 457 visa is a different issue from trade in delivery of services. That was a means of providing temporary foreign employees to employers in a wide range of jobs, many of whom were being paid below minimum wage. Canada had a similar visa (TFW), which was also being heavily abused by certain companies and was cut back in 2014 in favour of more emphasis on faster processing of permanent immigration.

The trade in delivery of services is where someone with a high level of skill is required to deliver on a specific contract for a limited period of time. No labour market survey is required, but the person providing the services must have a high level of skill (university degree, or a comparable level of skill in certain specialities). This is not intended to be used as a means of filling roles that would normally be taken by regular employees.

"Free movement" in the EU is apparently being used extensively in certain industries to bring in foreign employees from outside the EU from as far away as the Philippines and paying them as little as 2 euros per hour for them to do things like drive trucks in western Europe. They live for months on end in their trucks in appalling conditions. A "trade in services" agreement of a free trade deal would typically exclude these people, but would cover things like project oriented IT consultants or civil engineers.

So, "trade in services" covers one end of the scale, a 457 or TFW visa covers the other end of the scale, and EU style "free movement" covers the entire scale. The last of these has the fewest limitations, but it also has the fewest controls or limits on abuse.
Not quite. The 457 started life as the Temporary Work, Long Stay visa introduced by the Howard government in 96 to cover both Australian and overseas companies bringing skilled workers into the country. It changed in 2012 to become the visa for Australian companies to bring in skilled labour, renamed “Temporary Work (Skilled)”

The Turnbull government got rid in 2017 mainly because the IT industry was misusing it.

The problem with all of this is government involvement. If you run a cabbage farm in Norfolk and can’t get pickers in the domestic market, your need for skills is no different to that of a bank needing short term services from overseas. Both are shoot side inputs to the business.
 
In the video with Rees Mogg and the academic trade expert both were in full agreement that Article 24 is only of relevance to a situation where the EU and the UK have agreed to negotiate a free trade agreement. Without that, it is moot. They spent 5 minutes of arguing with each other in order to come to the conclusion that they were actually in agreement, but that was the end result.
Yes they agreed that A24 can only be used where there is mutual agreement to use A24 and there is a mutual agreed initial agreement on a FTA. In other wards, A24 cannot be used unilaterally by the U.K.

There is mutual agreement in the Political Declaration to work asap towards a FTA.

The main Brexit proponents do appear to want a free trade agreement with the EU though, with something based on the CETA treaty apparently being the assumed starting point. What they don't seem to like though are certain provisions in the withdrawal agreement. However, there is no necessity to have a withdrawal agreement in order to have a transition period while negotiating a free trade deal. That is what Article 24 provides for. Indeed, I suspect that the proposed withdrawal agreement itself may depend upon the use of Article 24.
seems to change by the hour

So if it becomes evident that a no-deal Brexit is inevitable, then the UK and the EU could still agree to negotiate a free trade deal and use Article 24 to cover the gap. The issues which were to be dealt with by the withdrawal agreement won't of course have gone away, and will then get folded into the trade negotiations themselves.
So the U.K. stays until there is an initial trade agreement that encompasses all the issues in the WA? With the same outcome?

Do trade agreements have to be approved by Westminster?


Should the EU however decide for political reasons that they don't wish to negotiate a free trade deal with the UK, then of course Article 24 would not come into play and there would be no transition period.
or the U.K. with the EU


So the current WA could be passed with an initial agreement on a future FTA between the U.K. & EU (as per the current PD) and A24 could be used to prevent the backstop being required?

The only issue imho with that is there is a lack of trust within the EU of the U.K. that they would actually be able to mutually agree a FTA without the backstop and that has been proven since the WA and backstop were agreed by the British Government. In other words the backstop would have to remain until the FTA was ratified.

But the WA pre-backstop period isn’t long enough to agree a FTA.
 
Yes they agreed that A24 can only be used where there is mutual agreement to use A24 and there is a mutual agreed initial agreement on a FTA. In other wards, A24 cannot be used unilaterally by the U.K.

There is mutual agreement in the Political Declaration to work asap towards a FTA.

seems to change by the hour


So the U.K. stays until there is an initial trade agreement that encompasses all the issues in the WA? With the same outcome?

Do trade agreements have to be approved by Westminster?


or the U.K. with the EU


So the current WA could be passed with an initial agreement on a future FTA between the U.K. & EU (as per the current PD) and A24 could be used to prevent the backstop being required?

The only issue imho with that is there is a lack of trust within the EU of the U.K. that they would actually be able to mutually agree a FTA without the backstop and that has been proven since the WA and backstop were agreed by the British Government. In other words the backstop would have to remain until the FTA was ratified.

But the WA pre-backstop period isn’t long enough to agree a FTA.
There’s nothing stopping the UK acting unilaterally and telling the EU that it can trade with the UK under WTO Article 24. Take the high ground in negotiating.

And at the same time cut corporation tax right back; no more than 10%. Watch the FDA roll in; the UK has massive advantages over most of the EU in global markets.
 
Yes they agreed that A24 can only be used where there is mutual agreement to use A24 and there is a mutual agreed initial agreement on a FTA. In other wards, A24 cannot be used unilaterally by the U.K. (...)
Exactly, and here starting at 4:37 in the video is one of the most prominent pro-Brexit personalities saying this. This is the same video originally appearing in another post which we have been discussing.

So the U.K. stays until there is an initial trade agreement that encompasses all the issues in the WA? With the same outcome?
From what I understand, the WA was to be largely replaced by a trade agreement, unless it was not found possible to come to an agreement within two years, in which case the WA agreement would expire without one. The uncertainty of whether or not some terms of the WA agreement would survive in the eventuality of no trade agreement being reached was the bone of contention and a major reason the WA has failed so far.

If the UK exits the EU without agreeing to the WA but Article 24 is used as a substitute bridge, then many of the same underlying issues which the WA attempted to address will still need to be dealt with in a trade agreement. However, as noted above they would have had to be addressed in any trade agreement regardless of the process used to arrive at it as they are inextricably linked. The Irish border question is a prime example of this.

Note that when we say "trade" in this context we are talking about a set of agreements which go well beyond just the rate of tariffs on goods and services. Modern comprehensive trade agreements address many issued outside of what were in the past considered to be purely "trade" issues.

Do trade agreements have to be approved by Westminster?
I don't know for sure what the case is in the UK, but I suspect it is similar to Canada where "ratification" doesn't mean much on its own. Trade agreements take effect through changes in legislation, and that normally has to be passed through parliament to become law. This would in Canada typically be handled via an omnibus bill. Here's the example of "An Act to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures" (Bill C-30).
www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/bill/C-30/first-reading

Note that it lists numerous items of legislation which must be amended. To list just a few:
  • Export and Import Permits Act
  • Financial Administration Act
  • Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
  • Pest Control Products Act
  • Customs Tariff
  • Nuclear Energy Act
  • Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
  • Defence Production Act
  • Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act
  • and many more.
Most of these are just technical changes. For example, the Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act required a one sentence change relating to trade marks for food and agriculture.

(...) So the current WA could be passed with an initial agreement on a future FTA between the U.K. & EU (as per the current PD) and A24 could be used to prevent the backstop being required?
The use of Article 24 in this instance is predicated on the WA being dead and not passing through parliament in the UK. Through the use of Article 24 however, the UK would then be outside the EU at a political level but temporarily in a customs union at a trade level. A permanent trade deal would then be negotiated which would among other things address Irish border issues.

The "backstop" was only necessary because Brexit was split into two phases, withdrawal and future relationship, and there was a danger that the first stage would pass but the second stage would fail leaving the Irish border in limbo.

The intent via the Article 24 route seems to be to deal with all issues all at once, including the Irish border.

I haven't followed the Brexit issue closely enough to know much more than the above, so I don't know to what degree this has been fleshed out.

The only issue imho with that is there is a lack of trust within the EU of the U.K. that they would actually be able to mutually agree a FTA without the backstop and that has been proven since the WA and backstop were agreed by the British Government. In other words the backstop would have to remain until the FTA was ratified.

But the WA pre-backstop period isn’t long enough to agree a FTA.
As I said above, the backstop issue only arose because the two stage negotiation process could fail at the second stage. There isn't going to be any realistic resolution to the Irish border question without some form of close free trade deal between the UK and Ireland (via the EU for the latter) as that alone can remove many of the reasons why a closely enforced border would be necessary.

I suspect that a "good" solution will require Brussels to recognise the unique geographic and historical situation of Ireland and grant Ireland some exceptions to the normal EU rules to deal with minor issues that can't be addressed any other way.
 
There’s nothing stopping the UK acting unilaterally and telling the EU that it can trade with the UK under WTO Article 24. Take the high ground in negotiating.

And at the same time cut corporation tax right back; no more than 10%. Watch the FDA roll in; the UK has massive advantages over most of the EU in global markets.
There isn’t nothing to stop the U.K. wanting to unilaterally A24.... but it can only do so if the EU agrees to it and if there is a preliminary agreement on a FTA
 

AlienFTM

MIA
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Same here, just always see someone saying the OPs going on ignore.
I did put the OP on ignore because I mentioned Article 24 and he just went on and on like a Labrador whose owner has died. He was so put out that he had to start another thread about it (this one). But I never leave people on ignore more than a day or two. Curiosity will kill this Black Cat.

Only name on my list now is the MOD RSS News Feed. Which on investigation appears to have been pulled.
 
I did put the OP on ignore because I mentioned Article 24 and he just went on and on like a Labrador whose owner has died. He was so put out that he had to start another thread about it (this one). But I never leave people on ignore more than a day or two. Curiosity will kill this Black Cat.

Only name on my list now is the MOD RSS News Feed. Which on investigation appears to have been pulled.
He just needs training to be honest mate, he'll fetch the stick back to the owner in the correct manner eventually.
 
From what I understand, the WA was to be largely replaced by a trade agreement, unless it was not found possible to come to an agreement within two years, in which case the WA agreement would expire without one. The uncertainty of whether or not some terms of the WA agreement would survive in the eventuality of no trade agreement being reached was the bone of contention and a major reason the WA has failed so far.

If the UK exits the EU without agreeing to the WA but Article 24 is used as a substitute bridge, then many of the same underlying issues which the WA attempted to address will still need to be dealt with in a trade agreement. However, as noted above they would have had to be addressed in any trade agreement regardless of the process used to arrive at it as they are inextricably linked. The Irish border question is a prime example of this.

Note that when we say "trade" in this context we are talking about a set of agreements which go well beyond just the rate of tariffs on goods and services. Modern comprehensive trade agreements address many issued outside of what were in the past considered to be purely "trade" issues..
the WA has actually very little to do with trade related issues, it is more Rights.

I don’t think the intent is that a FTA replaces the WA. And it doesn’t expire.

The use of Article 24 in this instance is predicated on the WA being dead and not passing through parliament in the UK. Through the use of Article 24 however, the UK would then be outside the EU at a political level but temporarily in a customs union at a trade level. A permanent trade deal would then be negotiated which would among other things address Irish border issues.

The "backstop" was only necessary because Brexit was split into two phases, withdrawal and future relationship, and there was a danger that the first stage would pass but the second stage would fail leaving the Irish border in limbo.

The intent via the Article 24 route seems to be to deal with all issues all at once, including the Irish border.

As I said above, the backstop issue only arose because the two stage negotiation process could fail at the second stage. There isn't going to be any realistic resolution to the Irish border question without some form of close free trade deal between the UK and Ireland (via the EU for the latter) as that alone can remove many of the reasons why a closely enforced border would be necessary.

I suspect that a "good" solution will require Brussels to recognise the unique geographic and historical situation of Ireland and grant Ireland some exceptions to the normal EU rules to deal with minor issues that can't be addressed any other way.
The 2 stage process was necessary IMHO to make the future relationship a separate issue as it will take much longer to negotiate.

There can’t be exceptions as it would threaten the single market (as it would mean Ireland was effectively out of the CU).

An FTA will not solve the NI border problem either as it would still be an external EU border. It will help no doubt but not solve it alone.
 
the WA has actually very little to do with trade related issues, it is more Rights.
The transition period is a part of it, and that is a trade issue. The transition period is the part of the WA which is most attractive from the UK's perspective, otherwise there really isn't much in it which interests them.

I don’t think the intent is that a FTA replaces the WA. And it doesn’t expire.
Significant parts of the WA such as the transition arrangements expire either after two years or upon a new deal coming into effect. Other parts may be superseded by the new trade deal, the terms of which are unknown at this point.

The 2 stage process was necessary IMHO to make the future relationship a separate issue as it will take much longer to negotiate.
The problem is that making the process two stage introduced problems of its own, problems which appear to be at the root of why the WA has failed to pass through parliament.

There can’t be exceptions as it would threaten the single market (as it would mean Ireland was effectively out of the CU).
No. Consider for example if Republic of Ireland citizens were to be granted travel, entry, and settlement privileges in the UK which were more liberal than those available to the citizens of other EU countries. This would not diminish Ireland's position with respect to trade with the rest of the EU, but it may give more flexibility in resolving certain problems with respect to the border that would not be available if one takes the attitude that everything must be one size fits all across the EU. This would not take away from Ireland's position within the EU market.

To give a somewhat related analogy, there are programs to allow young people from a number of places in the world, including countries in the EU to work in Canada temporarily to gain international experience and see the world (Working Holiday, Young Professionals, International Co-op Internship). The categories available, ages of eligibility, and length of time the visa covers varies depending upon which country you are a citizen of. So for example an Irish citizen may have a work visa that lasts twice as long as that of a German citizen. This different treatment of different countries in the EU by Canada is happening today, but does not "threaten the single market" for Ireland within the EU.

Now imagine that Irish citizens were to retain the same rights and privileges in the UK which they have today with respect to living, working, voting, and other matters, but these were not available to the citizens of any other EU country. That may help resolve any number of issues with respect to dealing with the Irish border question insofar as the people who are most directly affected are concerned. This isn't a "trade" issue in that it isn't a matter of the shipment of goods, but it is closely related to how it affects peoples' lives, which is what the real problem so far as peace and security are concerned.

An FTA will not solve the NI border problem either as it would still be an external EU border. It will help no doubt but not solve it alone.
I didn't say that a trade agreement would in itself be sufficient to solve the Irish border question, but I believe it to be a necessary precondition to a viable solution as it reduces the scope of the problem with respect to the movement of goods and people.
 
There isn’t nothing to stop the U.K. wanting to unilaterally A24.... but it can only do so if the EU agrees to it and if there is a preliminary agreement on a FTA
You are fundamentally missing my point. The UK is perfectly able to say to the EU “you can trade with us for ten years under your existing terms via Article 25’r, we don’t care what rules you place on us”.

In other words stop seeking concessions from an intransigent, anti-trade block. Create a zero tariff, low tax economy right next to their corrupt, sclerotic edifice.
 
You are fundamentally missing my point. The UK is perfectly able to say to the EU “you can trade with us for ten years under your existing terms via Article 25’r, we don’t care what rules you place on us”.

In other words stop seeking concessions from an intransigent, anti-trade block. Create a zero tariff, low tax economy right next to their corrupt, sclerotic edifice.
They absolutely can but the U.K. can’t use Article 24 to trade with the EU (or any other country/Customs Union) unless the EU (other country/customs union) agrees.

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