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: 7 February 2017 Dr Emily Lydgate is a lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex and a fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory. While the UK government White Paper on leaving the EU may be light on detail, it does suggest that securing UK environmental protections is near the bottom of its list of priorities, with a scant dedicated paragraph (8.41). Compare this with its complete section on worker’s rights; or compare to the country of Wales, which includes maintaining social and environmental standards as one of six Brexit priorities.

February 7th, 2017

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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Share this article: 2 February 2017 Dr Michael Gasiorek, senior Lecturer in Economics, Managing Director of InterAnalysis, and member of UKTPO responds to the  United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union White Paper. My top line response to the White Paper is that it is full of wishes and hopes, but there is very little specific detail in there. No doubt this is in part because the government would argue that it does not want to give too much away so as to strengthen their hand in the negotiations, but also because some of the problems are somewhat intractable, (eg. CTA and Ireland) and finally, because the government probably does not yet know itself. Specifically, on trade, there really is almost nothing new in the White Paper. One can exegetically examine the wording to see if there are any new insights but these are hard to… Read More

February 2nd, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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Share this article: 26 January 2017 Erika Szyszczak is a Professor of Law at the University of Sussex, Barrister and ADR Mediator at Littleton Chambers, Temple and a Fellow of theUKTPO. It is a monumental decision for a Member State to leave the European Union, not least when it will have a major impact on the economic, political and social future, not only of the exiting Member State, but also of the global trading regime. It is thus befitting that on 24 January 2017 the Supreme Court came of age by delivering one of its most important rulings, on the nature and future shape of the UK constitution. What started as a case concerning acquired rights became a wider ranging analysis of the role of the executive vis-a-vis Parliament. As befits a monumental constitutional decision, taking place in the digital age, the responses to the ruling have been prolific and focused… Read More

January 26th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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