As law firms scramble to explain possible Brexit scenarios to clients, some analyses see China and the Asian region set for a trade windfall from the UK’s exit from the EU.
According to Anna Elliott, a Sydney-based partner at Squire Patton Boggs, several Asia-Pacific countries either have negotiated, or are currently negotiating, free trade agreements (FTAs) with the EU. “Brexit may require existing FTAs with the EU to be renegotiated to adjust for a non-Britain EU, and, depending on how complex Britain’s exit from the EU is, may delay the free trade negotiations currently underway,” she said.
But Asian countries may benefit from this opportunity as well. “Exiting the EU will require Britain to negotiate separate [FTAs] with Asia-Pacific countries – if it so desires,” Elliott said. “This has the potential to benefit countries in the Asia-Pacific region such as China, as Britain – in the event of Brexit – would be expected to focus on developing stronger trade relationships in the Asia-Pacific region, offering trading opportunities for both governments and companies.”