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16 August 2017

Dr Peter Holmes Reader in Economics at the University of Sussex and Fellow of the UKTPO

The UK government has just issued its official position paper on the issue of the customs union and Brexit. It emphasises a desire for the “most frictionless trade possible in goods between the UK and the EU” and proposes two ways of achieving this in the long term, while making it clear that the UK will leave the EU’s customs union when it leaves the EU.

The first option it proposes is a “streamlined customs arrangement” which sounds like a form of free trade agreement (but there is no mention of this as an aim). It involves keeping in place a number of the existing customs arrangements and using (untested) electronic technology to ensure the smooth processing of all documentation. The stated aim is to keep border arrangements as close as possible to what they are now to maintain continuity for businesses. (more…)

August 16th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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After Brexit, the UK will have to leave the EU Customs Union (CU) and become a legally separate customs territory. It might then, however, seek to create a new Customs Union with the EU to cover their mutual trade.

The UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex (UKTPO) has produced this short animated video that explains what this entails, and what kind of an agreement the UK and the EU would need to establish in order to achieve the same level of trade costs as we have now.

Ultimately, the video explains, a Customs Union will not produce ‘frictionless’ trade without re-creating several aspects of current EU membership. With Brexit negotiations already underway, it emphasises that maintaining a customs union is just one part of the story; and not, by itself, the be all and end all for achieving a smooth trading process.

 

August 14th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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26 May 2017

Compiled by Fellows of the 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 fifth 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 UKIP 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 26th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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17 March 2017

Guest blog by Paul Eden, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex

Introduction

Now that the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act has received Royal Assent, the UK government is on track to meet its deadline of invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of European Union (TEU) by the end of March. Whilst it seems inevitable that the UK will indeed invoke Article 50 a key question that remains is whether we can change our minds and stop the whole process, perhaps when we are a year down the line or if there was a change in government in the UK. (more…)

March 17th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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2 March 2017

Giordano Mion is a Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex and fellow of the UK Trade Policy ObservatoryGiordano Mion

“The people have spoken” on Brexit. The UK is leaving the EU. We now need to focus on how the UK can maintain a leading world trade position in this new scenario.

Brexit has cast a shadow over the future international position of the UK and its trading relationship with both the EU and non-EU partners. Much attention has been devoted to number crunching regarding the costs related to the UK leaving the EU. Whilst some figures look more credible than others, both before and after the vote, there has been large discrepancies – leading to confusion and an overall lack of key message.

(more…)

March 2nd, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU, Uncategorised

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Photo of Emily Lydgate7 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. (more…)

February 7th, 2017

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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