© Elena Schweitzer brexit
© Elena Schweitzer

Britain’s wide range of trade relationships may insulate it from some fallout from a no-deal Brexit.

Steven Altman of NYU’s Stern School of Business told The Loadstar that, when it came to trading relationships, developing breadth was “far harder” than developing depth of trade.

“Once you have a trading agreement set up with another state, developing depth is a fairly straightforward process,” said Mr Altman.

“So, the UK’s breadth of trade is certainly advantageous when it comes to Brexit.”

But he added that didn’t mean leaving the EU with no deal would be a positive development for the country.

“The rhetoric surrounding the UK’s commonwealth is somewhat misleading, as it ignores the fact that a lot of those countries are far away.”

Mr Altman said this distance brought the benefits of staying within the EU back to the fore, but admitted it did offer some insulation if the UK reverted to WTO terms with the union.

According to a report commissioned by DHL and conducted by Mr Altman, the UK ranks first in the world when it comes to breadth of global trade, while much of the EU has a far smaller pool of partners – although the Netherlands was far and away the standout when it came to depth of trade with its partners.

“Even though the UK ranks highest in terms of breadth, when you look at where the UK has its depth, it is within the EU,” continued Mr Altman.

“And hat breadth is distant; developing larger flow with distant countries is far harder than with neighbours – in fact, levels of trade depth are tripled with closer partners.”

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