Papua New Guinea

Pacific Islands trade deal 'negligible'

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On Thursday, the UK announced that it had signed a deal with the Pacific Islands - namely Fiji and Papua New Guinea - to maintain uninterrupted trade after the UK leaves the EU.

Law firm Gowling WLG is not impressed by this news.

"While gratifying to know that uninterrupted trade will continue, the fact that it is with such minor partners - with the UK's 2017 trade with Fiji amounting to 0.0001% of that, and Papa New Guinea just 0.0003% - makes it negligible to say the least," said Ursula Johnston, head of customs at Gowling WLG.

"'Shifting seats on the Titanic' comes to mind if this is being considered a victory in its own right – surely better to wait for these 'deals' to accumulate before announcing the collective result.

"Piecemeal agreements and insignificance are surely the last things we need now?"