LONDON — Britain is woefully short of one thing it desperately needs in its high-stakes divorce from the European Union: experienced trade negotiators.
Pascal Lamy, former director-general of the World Trade Organization, says the talks will be tough, though ultimately about business interest.
“International trade is not about love or hate or feelings. It is about hard numbers, necessities and realities; more business than politics,” Lamy said in an email to The Associated Press. “But based on my experience, it will be long, hugely complex, and bumpy at times.”
While Britain would need only eight bilateral agreements to cover 80 percent of its exports, it would need 132 more to cover all of its existing trade, according to research by Martin Reeves and Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak of Boston Consulting Group.