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.

‘The ins and outs of the Single Market’ explains what the Single Market is, how it works and the ways it effects trade, and thereby the economy. Ultimately, the video explains that there is a trade-off between making your laws independently and cooperating sufficiently to be a part of a bigger market and achieve higher incomes.

‘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.

‘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 ins and outs of the Single Market

The Customs Union: The Fiction of ‘Frictionless’ Trade

With or without EU

November 25th, 2016

Posted In:

Share this article: 16 November 207 Ilona Serwicka is Research Fellow in the Economics of Brexit at the UKTPO. The European Chief Negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, has recently confirmed that the UK will cease to be a member of the EU at midnight (Brussels time) on 29 March 2019. This means that we are now less than 500 days and under 350 working days away from the Brexit date. More time has already passed since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016.

November 16th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

Tags: , , , , ,

One Comment

Share this article: 2 November 2017 Ilona Serwicka is Research Fellow in the Economics of Brexit at the UKTPO. As the United Kingdom is preparing to leave the European Union, Government policy is to seek a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU. But Brexit talks have not moved onto the trade issues yet and even if the future trade relationship is taken up in December, this gives little time and offers no guarantee that an agreement will be reached and ratified before 29 March 2019, the Brexit date. The Government has recently recognised the possibility that talks might break down and started to outline a ‘no deal’ vision of the UK-EU trade. Our analysis reveals that unemployed households, those with children, and pensioners will all fare off worse than average in the case of a ‘no deal’. A new paper, Will Brexit Raise the Cost of Living? by Stephen… Read More

November 2nd, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

Tags: , , , ,


Share this article: 26 October 2017   Nicolo Tamberi is Research Assistant for the UKTPO and Charlotte Humma is the UKTPO’s business manager. Leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union will require the implementation of new border controls between the UK and the EU that will surely increase transport time and therefore costs. However minimal they may be, these new procedures will negatively affect trade between the two parties. According to a study by EY, Economic footprint of the Channel Tunnel fixed link, trade between Folkestone and Calais via the Eurotunnel was estimated to be £91.4 billion or 24.8% of trade with the EU in 2014. Goods transported through the Channel Tunnel are exported from and imported to every region of the UK. Today, transporting things from one shore to the other requires minimal controls such as those that exist between Surrey and Somerset. Businesses on both sides of the… Read More

October 26th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU, Uncategorised

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Comment