Trade Knowledge Exchange > Trade Partnerships > UK Partnerships with Non EU Countries

UK Partnerships with Non EU Countries

Around 55% of the UK’s merchandise exports go outside the EU.  The figure is higher for services: around 60-65%.  Once the UK leaves the EU, it is likely that it will be able to define its own trade policy vis a vis the rest of the world. So what are the issues?

At present, trade relationships between the UK and the rest of the world are managed through the EU’s common commercial policy. The policy has defined the UK’s trade regime vis a vis the rest of the world, through WTO commitments, through regional agreements conclude by the EU, and through unilateral preference schemes implemented by the EU.

On leaving the EU, the UK will exit the EU’s common commercial policy. It will then face a number of choices and challenges. In particular:

  • How will it finalise its position at the WTO by extricating its commitments for the EU, particularly in areas such as agriculture subsidies and tariff-rate quotas, and in aspects of services trade?
  • Should it continue to apply MFN tariffs it has inherited from the EU, or should it liberalise further? If so, should it do so unilaterally, on a non-discriminatory basis, or reciprocally, through free trade agreements?
  • On services, where the UK, like many others, applies significantly lower levels of restrictions than are reflected in its WTO commitments, similar questions apply.
  • What should the UK’s approach to trade preferences be?
  • How should it establish priorities given limits to institutional capacity

These issues are not solely the UK’s. The EU itself will need to finalise its new schedules of commitments at the WTO. More broadly, the EU will also need to define its approach to trade policy, and this without the input of one its strongest liberalising influences.

The articles in this section assess these issues from a variety of perspectives, and provide a starting point for developing a new template for the UK’s trade policy.

International trade in goods, Trade services, Professional services brexit, brexit professional services, brexit network, trade expertise, trade expertise network, Trade knowledge, trade knowedge exchange, trade compliance, trade tools, barriers to international trade, effects of tariffs, brexit trade, brexit trade deals, post brexit trade deals, post-brexit trade deals, brexit trade, brexit trade deals, trade after brexit, brexit trade agreements, brexit analysis, trade analysis,

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Commentary

A tricky triangle: the UK’s negotiation positions for FTAs with the US and the EU

    The UK has published, in quick succession, its negotiating position for free trade agreements with, respectively, the European Union and the United States. It is an ambitious project. Few countries have attempted parallel bilateral negotiations with both the US and the EU simultaneously. Substantial differences between these two parties, especially on key issues of regulation, […]

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    The elusive notion of “a level playing field”

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      “Level playing-field” has become one of the most commonly used phrases in international trade. It has been used for example, between the United States and China in their current series of trade disputes.   It crops up regularly between the United Kingdom and the European Union in the context of negotiating a long-term economic and trade […]

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      Doing free trade agreements as if policy really matters

        At the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos,  US Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Mnuchin expressed his optimism that a UK-US free trade agreement could be signed by the end of 2020. Noting that the UK was also negotiating with the EU, he said he was a little bit disappointed that US had not been […]

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        Trade facts the UK Government has to face

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          A central plank of the UK Government’s Brexit policy is to re-establish an “independent” UK international trade policy following more than forty years of integration into the Common Commercial Policy (CCP) of the European Union.  This would have been hard enough technically, even without the ill-tempered stand-off into which the Brexit negotiations have now declined.  […]

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          What do we mean by an independent trade policy for the UK?

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            An “independent trade policy” is one of the main prizes proponents of Brexit wish to claim. The issue was barely mentioned during the referendum campaign. But both the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration state it as one of the main objectives for the UK. And opponents of both frequently point to provisions within these […]

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            Come up Trumps? The implications of a UK-US free trade agreement

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              President Trump’s state visit has once again brought the question of a UK-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) back into the headlines. The US administration has on previous occasions expressed its readiness to begin negotiations with the UK. And in early 2019, the US Trade Representative’s office released its negotiating objectives. The breadth and depth of […]

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