Sunday 31 January 2021

Some people might say...

David Buik, a man who knows a thing or two about the global economy, was watching BBC One a few minutes ago and then took to Twitter:

David Buik: Really negative take by BBC News on the UK applying to join a free trade area made up of 11 Asia and Pacific nations, Sneering comparison to EU. From little acorns do great big oak trees grow! We've left the EU. Please get over it! Shoulder to the wheel - EVERYONE!

This is what he saw and heard:

Ben Brown: The Government has announced that Britain wants to join a trade partnership of 11 countries including Australia and Japan. The partnership is known as CPTPP. It was only formed in 2018 but could offer tariff-free trade with a host of countries in the Pacific. Well, our Global Trade Correspondent Dharshini David is here with me now. Dharshini, some people might say, why have we let the EU to join another big global trading block?

Dharshini David: One that's thousands of miles away when we've only just shaken off the dust from the one next door. And don't forget as well, this has got a far less catchy name than the EU. And on top of that, Germany buys as much of our exports as all those 11 nations put together. And when you consider we already have trade deals with seven of them, economists say the gains to businesses and consumers in the short run is going to be pretty limited. But the Government says that this, the first major move since Brexit on the trade scene, is about the UK 's future ambitions, about growing those ties with the fastest growing markets and deepening our links when it comes to stuff like robotics and banking and advertising. We don't talk a lot about digital and services in general but those really are our strengths right now. But the big prize would be if other big nations, for example, the US, joints, then we get an American trade deal almost by the back door and it creates a more powerful bloc. But this is going to be a very long process. We are just at the start. We don't even know yet what the Government's wish list is, and talks will have the start after we get those. And who knows, on that list we could have demands perhaps for a more catchy name!

Ben Brown: All right. Indeed. Dharshini, thank you very much! 

Though they was some balance in the middle, the framing was certainly negative here (and not without hints of sarcasm) and I'd say David Buik has a point, wouldn't you? 

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