Welcome to the UK Trade Policy Observatory

Following the decision to leave the EU, the UK needs to reconfigure its trade policy, successfully navigating a path through a new international trade landscape. The UK Trade Policy Observatory aims to ensure that new trade policies are constructed in a manner that benefits all.

For over four decades, the EU has handled most elements of international trade policy on Britain’s behalf. Brexit changes all that and there is now an urgent need to debate and define the UK’s place in the international trading system and then to negotiate it with our partners. This requires expert analysis, commentary and inputs from people experienced in trade policy formation and practice.

The UK Trade Policy observatory (UKTPO), a partnership between the University
 of Sussex and Chatham House, is an independent expert group that:

1) Initiates, comments on and analyses trade policy proposals for the UK;

2) Trains British policy makers, negotiators and other interested parties through tailored training packages.

Created in June 2016, the UKTPO is committed to engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders 
to ensure that the UK’s international trading environment is reconstructed in a manner that benefits all in Britain and is fair to Britain, the EU and the world.

Trade policy animated videos

Our videos help to explain the effects of Brexit. ‘With or without EU’ shows that in terms of trade policy choosing trade priorities on the basis of aggregate UK data does not take into account the fact that the nations within the UK are exposed to trade with the EU in different ways. The Customs Union: The Fiction of ‘Frictionless’ Trade’ shows what leaving the EU Customs Union entails and that you need much more cooperation than just a customs union in order to achieve the same level of trade costs as we have now.

 

 

 

 

 

November 25th, 2016

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Share this article: 1st September 2017 Erika Szyszczak is a Professor of Law at the University of Sussex, independent ADR Mediator and a Fellow of the UKTPO. This week it was reported that the PM, Theresa May intends to “cut and paste” existing EU trade deals when forging a new trade policy for the UK. Today the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (AA) officially came into force, although most of the provisions of the AA have been provisionally applied since 1 September 2014, with the trade provisions contained in the novel Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), provisionally applied since 1 January 2016. The AA is a new model of external relations for the EU and it addresses matters beyond trade (cooperation in foreign and security policy, justice, freedom and security (including migration) taxation, public finance management, science and technology, education and information society). It is an innovative form of external… Read More

September 1st, 2017

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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Share this article: 23 August 2017 Dr Peter Holmes Reader in Economics at the University of Sussex and Fellow of the UKTPO The government’s new paper  “Continuity in the availability of goods for the EU and the UK – a position paper“ acknowledges the problems that will be created by a hard Brexit in which there is a disruption in the systems for verifying compliance with mandatory standards. The problem is that its substantive proposals deal with only the most immediate disruptions in the sale of goods that are already in the supply chain at the moment of Brexit. The official description acknowledges this: “This paper outlines the UK’s position on continuity in the availability of goods in UK and EU markets at the point of EU exit” (my italics). Yet, the key requirement for the British economy is that there needs to be a permanent system in place for ensuring that… Read More

August 23rd, 2017

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Share this article: 21 August 2017 L. Alan Winters CB, Professor of Economics and Director of UKTPO. Economists for Free Trade (EfFT) are back, offering the Introduction to an unpublished – and hence unknown – report that claims £135 billion benefits from Brexit. It not only repeats the previous claim that GDP will increase by 4% if the UK adopts free trade, which I characterised  as ‘doubly misleading’ in April, but it adds in an extra 2% from ‘improved regulation’, 0.6% from our net budget contribution to the EU and 0.2% from removing the ‘subsidy to unskilled immigration’. It also promises faster growth as well. I’ll come back to free trade, but, first, what regulations will be improved? We are not told. Similarly, what subsidy to immigration? Who knows? The budget contribution to the EU may be saved, but we will need to spend much of it on providing replacements for… Read More

August 21st, 2017

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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