November 2017 – Authors: Peter Holmes from the UK Trade Policy Observatory.
Consumers face many challenges post-Brexit.
The new UK Trade White Paper published by the Department for International Trade in October 2017 has stated that it will give a major priority to consumers, but details remain to be spelled out. Increasing scepticism about free trade puts at risk the classic gains from trade – lower prices and better choice – and gives rise to fears of job losses from increased imports. On the other hand, some fear that Brexit – and potential trade agreements with third countries – will weaken or undermine consumer protection. In the addition to these substantive issues there are procedural questions too – how is consumer interest represented? This briefing paper addresses these issues of trade policy and consumer interests.