"That might surprise some people, who assume the U.K. does almost all of its trade with the EU, but in fact the U.K. is reliant on the EU for less than half of its exports.
…In another interesting fact, the U.S. is the U.K.’s number one nation-to-nation trading partner, more important than German or France by a considerable amount.
…The U.K. has also been keen to see the still-stumbling EU-US free trade talks proceed, but now that the U.K. has opted for Brexit, it’ll probably switch its attention to getting a U.K.-US deal as soon as possible.
…European politicians often like to fulminate against British demands for special treatment within the EU, and they might want to try to exact some vengeance on the U.K. if it opts for a “hard Brexit.”
…Sure, it’ll be unfortunate if the Europeans play hardball, but the UK buys more from the EU than it exports to the EU, so it can play hardball right back at them. Some say the British are living in deep denial about the damage likely to come from Brexit, but I think it’s more likely to be a self-confidence based on seeing the EU’s problems up close, and from an understanding that the EU is far from being the U.K.’s only export option. in fact, it is a slightly declining market for the U.K.
…The British can contemplate having half their export trade complicated by Brexit because they still have 50 percent unaffected, and perhaps likely to become much larger outside EU restrictions on trade.
…There is lots of pressure across the EU to get the deal approved, especially since it took five years to negotiate and has been awaiting ratification for a couple of years. … But the EU has a sclerotic political/bureaucratic system, and if you think the willingness of insiders to push it through will be enough, think for a minute what happened in Canada during the Meech Lake mess.
…Ten years from now the EU’s share of British exports might be less than one-third, and that wouldn’t be bad for Britain.
That should give Canada impetus to get a deal with the U.K. done ASAP, and encourage us to redouble our efforts to build trade deals with other non-U.S. countries."