Former cabinet minister Ranil Jayawardena has hailed an Appeal Court ruling which has confirmed that UK trade deals can no longer be interfered with by international organisations post Brexit.
Mr Jayawardena is the chairman of Liz Truss’ Conservative Group for Growth and as a former trade minister pushed UK trade deals around the world.
The court ruling last month, dismissed a challenge by an international NGO, The Western Sahara Campaign (WSCUK) to the invalidate the Association Agreement between Morocco and the United Kingdom which has boosted trade betwen the two countries by 50 percent since 2021.
The challenge had been brought because of an attempt by separatists to breakaway from Morocco and the ruling in effect also confirmed the integrity of the north African nation’s borders.
However, importantly, it confirmed that trade deals are a matter between two sovereign states and cannot be interfered with by international organisations post Brexit.
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Mr Jayawardena told Express.co.uk: “This clear ruling from the Court of Appeal is good news for both Britain and Morocco. It demonstrates that trade relations are solely a matter for our two nations.
“Britain attaches a great deal of importance to her trade agreement with Morocco, as it benefits the people of both countries as consumers, employees and business owners directly and through positive spillover.
“From this strong foundation, I am sure that our bilateral relations will continue to go from strength-to-strength.”
IEA Director General Mark Littlewood added: “The decision to leave the European Union promised us the opportunity to broaden our horizons and open up trade with nations across the world.
“UK-Morrocco trade is worth £3.1 billion to our economy and that number will only continue to grow as our trade ties deepen.
“Free trade has proven its value time and time again, lowering prices for consumers, boosting international development, and creating well-paid jobs at home by allowing the economy to specialise in what it’s best at producing.”
The ruling has given businesses the green light to continue trade – UK/Morocco trade has already increased by 50 per cent since 2021.
The refusal to accept the challenge confirmed the London Administrative Court’s ruling of December 5 2022.
The Association Agreement between Morocco and the United Kingdom, signed in London on October 26, 2019, has been in force since January 1, 2021 when Brexit took place.
Trade between the two countries has grown steadily since the agreement was signed, with trade in goods and services peaking at £3.1 billion in the year until the last three month of 2022; which was an increase of £1 billion (50 per cent) on the same period the previous year.
This final judgment should provide a guarantee for Moroccan and British companies undertaking economic and commercial relations in all sectors.
According to supporters of the trade deal, it will enable both countries to establish a long-term structured partnership which benefits trade and other relations between the two countries.
However, the biggest effect is that it will allow Britain to continue to establish trade deals around the world without legal challenges based on border disputes.