Singapore began negotiations with the European Union (EU) for a free trade deal in 2010. Negotiations were completed in 2017 and a deal came into force on 21 November 2019. It took nine years from start to finish. Yet the United Kingdom hopes to complete, post Brexit, a deal with the EU in just nine months. Can it be done and what if any are the lessons from Singapore’s experience?
About the Speaker
David Martin was a Scottish Labour Member of the European Parliament for 35 years (1984-2019). He was the longest serving UK MEP and longest serving Vice President of the Parliament (1989-2004), gaining extensive experience of the political systems in Scotland and Europe and effective forms of engaging with the public. He was the European Parliament’s spokesperson on the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties. As a senior member of the International Trade Committee he was responsible for steering numerous trade agreements through the Parliament including the Singapore Agreement. Based on this experience, he was appointed Professor of Public Policy at the University of Glasgow. In 2013 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the Punjab for services to EU-Pakistan relations. David is a member of the First Minister’s Standing Council on Europe which provides advice to the First Minister on Brexit and the European Union. In summer 2019 he was appointed as co-convener of the Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland. He holds a BA in Economics and an MA in European Law.