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19 May 2017

Compiled by Fellows of UKTPO

Brexit will leave many areas of UK policy open to change. International trade policy is among the most important of these for UK prosperity and also among the most immediate because the status quo cannot simply be extended. This is the third in a series of blogs reporting what the major political parties say about trade policy in their 2017 manifestos, as they become available.

The UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) has set out a series of issues that it believes should be considered in any election manifesto that might form the basis of the UK’s future trade policy. The table below checks whether or not the Conservative Manifesto mentions these important elements explicitly or implicitly. Following that we offer a brief commentary on the treatment of trade policy in the manifesto. (more…)

May 19th, 2017

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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18 May 2017

Compiled by Fellows of UKTPO

Brexit will leave many areas of UK policy open to change. International trade policy is among the most important of these for UK prosperity and also among the most immediate because the status quo cannot simply be extended. This is the second in a series of blogs reporting what the major political parties say about trade policy in their 2017 manifestos, as they become available.

The UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) has set out a series of issues that it believes should be considered in any election manifesto that might form the basis of the UK’s future trade policy. The table below checks whether or not the Liberal Democrats’ Manifesto mentions these important elements explicitly or implicitly. Following that we offer a brief commentary on the treatment of trade policy in the manifesto.

The central plank of the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto is remaining in the single market and the customs union. This implies no change to current trade policies and hence little need to discuss them in the manifesto. Thus their coverage of trade policy is rather sparse. (more…)

May 18th, 2017

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16 May 2017

Compiled by Fellows of UKTPO

Brexit will leave many areas of UK policy open to change. International trade policy is among the most important of these for UK prosperity and also among the most immediate because the status quo cannot simply be extended. This is the first in a series of blogs reporting what the major political parties say about trade policy in their 2017 manifestos, as they become available.

The UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) has set out a series of issues that it believes should be considered in any election manifesto that might form the basis of the UK’s future trade policy. The table below checks whether or not the Labour Party Manifesto mentions these important elements explicitly or implicitly. Following that we offer a brief commentary on the treatment of trade policy in the manifesto.

(more…)

May 16th, 2017

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08 May 2017

L. Alan Winters CB, Professor of Economics and Director of UKTPO.

Signing a Free Trade Agreement is neither necessary nor sufficient for two countries (or groups of countries) to cooperate and enhance trade in research or higher education services. Doing so helps significantly, but needs to be followed up by detailed operational agreements at a lower level.  (more…)

May 8th, 2017

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26 April 2017

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. (more…)

April 26th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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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 on far more than ‘simply eliminating tariffs’; they also require deeper integration with the EU and a race to the bottom on standards;
  • M&M assume that the devaluation of sterling will have no effect on the prices of UK imports!

(more…)

April 19th, 2017

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Michael Gasiorek2 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 find. I thought it was interesting how much work had gone into discussing dispute resolution, and wonder whether it suggests any view regarding the likelihood of future disputes? (more…)

February 2nd, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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Erika Szyszczak26 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 upon the constitutional dimension to the litigation. (more…)

January 26th, 2017

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16 January 2017Portrait photo of Katie Doherty

Guest blog by Katie Doherty, Policy and Operations Manager at The International Meat Trade Association

Though a significant challenge, Brexit presents an opportunity for the UK to devise its own import quota system. The current EU Tariff-rate Quote (TRQ) system is out of date and does not reflect the modern trade. For example, there are many frozen meat quotas that, as technology has developed, would be better suited as chilled meat quotas. Additionally, due to the exceedingly high EU MFN tariffs, it is generally not economically viable to import into the EU unless under a Tariff Rate Quota. (more…)

January 16th, 2017

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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21 December 2016Alasdair Smith

Alasdair Smith is an Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex, and is a member of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

In ‘Scotland’s place in Europe‘, published on 20 December, the Scottish Government affirms its wish that the whole UK should remain in the European single market and the EU customs union. If, however, the UK leaves the customs union and is ejected from the single market, the Scottish government wants Scotland to remain in the single market.

Commentators, by no means all of them instinctively unsympathetic to the Scottish Government’s case, have noted that the creation of a regulatory border between England and Scotland could be problematic. But the problems would not all be on the Scottish side. (more…)

December 21st, 2016

Posted In: UK- EU, Uncategorised

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