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.

November 25th, 2016

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Share this article: On 22 February 2017, UKTPO, CBI and the TUC held an event in Newcastle that brought together employees and employers to discuss the important regional issues for post-Brexit trade. This guest blog by Sarah Glendinning, Regional Director for the North East, CBI; and Beth Farhat, Regional Secretary, Northern TUC draws on this discussion. Now that Brexit negotiations are officially underway it’s important to consider what kind of deal workers and businesses want from negotiations, and what kind of deal will enable all parts of the country to develop and prosper after we leave the EU. As representatives of working people and businesses from across the North East, we are seeking a Brexit deal that ensures stability and delivers decent jobs, fair pay and growth for the region.

April 26th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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Share this article: 19 April 2017 L. Alan Winters CB, Professor of Economics and Director of UKTPO. In this blog, Professor Winters responds to Patrick Minford and Edgar Miller’s recent paper on unilateral free trade in relation to Brexit. Economists for Free Trade’s Patrick Minford recently suggested that the UK should simply eliminate our tariffs on them [the EU], and by implication – under WTO rules – on everyone else. By doing so, we would achieve free trade for our consumers with one quick move [and increase consumer welfare by 4%] Minford (2017). This, he explains in a fuller exposition, is achievable ‘via Unilateral Free Trade’ – see page 8 of Minford and Miller (2017), henceforth referred to as M&M. But this claim is misleading or worse: It is based on a very particular view of the world economy, Even in M&M’s own analysis, the benefits of 4% of welfare (or GDP) depend… Read More

April 19th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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Share this article: 29 March 2017 New analysis shows that the nations of the UK are exposed to trade with the EU in quite different ways. If the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal the effects across regions will be quite different and this should therefore influence our trading priorities Our Fellows have analysed trade data to examine the regional and sectoral impact of Brexit as well as the overall national impact. Their findings, portrayed in a short video animation show that 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.

March 29th, 2017

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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