1st September 2017
Erika Szyszczak is a Professor of Law at the University of Sussex, independent ADR Mediator and a Fellow of the UKTPO.
This week it was reported that the PM, Theresa May intends to “cut and paste” existing EU trade deals when forging a new trade policy for the UK.
Today the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (AA) officially came into force, although most of the provisions of the AA have been provisionally applied since 1 September 2014, with the trade provisions contained in the novel Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), provisionally applied since 1 January 2016. The AA is a new model of external relations for the EU and it addresses matters beyond trade (cooperation in foreign and security policy, justice, freedom and security (including migration) taxation, public finance management, science and technology, education and information society). It is an innovative form of external action in offering a new type of economic integration without membership of the EU: an integration-oriented agreement. The new AA may reveal some lessons for the UK as it seeks new models of trade relationships. Indeed, the AA has already entered the consciousness of the wider public as a potential model for UK-EU trade agreements post-Brexit, but, in fact, it is a most unlikely model given that the UK does not want such a deep commitment beyond trade provisions with the EU. (more…)
Charlotte Humma September 1st, 2017
21 August 2017
L. Alan Winters CB, Professor of Economics and Director of UKTPO.
Economists for Free Trade (EfFT) are back, offering the Introduction to an unpublished – and hence unknown – report that claims £135 billion benefits from Brexit. It not only repeats the previous claim that GDP will increase by 4% if the UK adopts free trade, which I characterised as ‘doubly misleading’ in April, but it adds in an extra 2% from ‘improved regulation’, 0.6% from our net budget contribution to the EU and 0.2% from removing the ‘subsidy to unskilled immigration’. It also promises faster growth as well.
I’ll come back to free trade, but, first, what regulations will be improved? We are not told. Similarly, what subsidy to immigration? Who knows? The budget contribution to the EU may be saved, but we will need to spend much of it on providing replacements for various EU regulatory bodies such as the European Medicines Agency, on negotiating new deals on things like airlines or nuclear isotopes, supporting farmers (which EfFT apparently accepts), on customs formalities on trade with the EU, on managing alleged unfair trade and on trade disputes, etc. Until we see the details, you have to doubt these numbers. (more…)
Charlotte Humma August 21st, 2017
27 June 2017
Dr Peter Holmes Reader in Economics at the University of Sussex and Fellow of the UKTPO
The UK government’s new approach to trade policy towards developing countries has just been released in a DFID document that has been widely commented on. The government’s proposals are welcome, but yet they are not quite as generous as they may seem.
A Bloomberg piece says, optimistically: “The government promises improved access to U.K. markets for the world’s poorest countries”. However the only concrete promise is that
“ around 48 countries across the globe, from Bangladesh to Sierra Leone, Haiti and Ethiopia will continue to benefit from duty-free exports into the UK on all goods other than arms and ammunition, known as ‘everything but arms.”
In other words, the UK pledges to maintain existing arrangements for the poorest countries currently benefiting from the EU’s Everything but Arms deal (EBA). This amounts to simply maintaining the status quo for this group and is not actually an improvement.
Charlotte Humma June 27th, 2017
Posted In: UK - Non EU
23 June 2017
L. Alan Winters CB, Professor of Economics and Director of UKTPO and Ilona Serwicka, Research Fellow at UKTPO
One year ago the British people voted to leave the EU. Out of 33.5 million votes cast, 51.9 per cent were for ‘leave’, albeit in the absence of any statement about what ‘leaving’ might mean. The government is still vague about what the UK’s post-Brexit trade policy should be – even after triggering the formal leave process – but the general election has pressured Theresa May to soften her Brexit stance. Even though Brexit negotiations are now formally under way, the options suddenly again seem wide open for debate.
In terms of options the UK is back at square one, but following a year’s analysis, it is now clearer what these options amount to. Over the year, the UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) has discussed many of the options and this note draws on some of that analysis to try to light the path forward. (more…)
Charlotte Humma June 23rd, 2017
12 June 2017,
L. Alan Winters CB, Professor of Economics and Director of UKTPO.
Suddenly everyone is talking again about the UK’s new trading relationship with the rest of the EU. Given the structure of the new Parliament, any party’s views may turn out to be pivotal. This blog is partly about what the parties say and partly about making conversation between them fruitful by clarifying the language. (more…)
Charlotte Humma June 12th, 2017
12 June 2017
Guest blog by Iyan I.H. Offor, Trade & Animal Welfare Project Officer at Eurogroup for Animals and David Bowles, Assistant Director, Public Affairs, RSPCA.
The Conservative Government has been quick to highlight the potential benefits and quick wins for animal welfare made possible by new UK trade competencies post-Brexit. However, experience with the reality of trade negotiations is making some animal welfare organisations more sceptical.
The UK has some of the highest standards in the world enacted under a legislative model. This is in contrast to the approach of the US and Canada, for example, which place reliance upon voluntary industry standards. Diverging welfare standards can result in increased imports of low-welfare products for two reasons. First, lower animal welfare standards are invariably linked to cheaper production which out-factors transport costs. Second, there are no effective mandatory product labelling mechanisms for animal welfare, except for shell eggs. Thus, although consumers express willingness to buy higher welfare products and to pay a premium for such products, they inadvertently purchase low welfare meat and dairy because the market does not operate transparently. This puts the livelihoods of British farmers who comply with animal welfare production requirements at risk. (more…)
Charlotte Humma June 12th, 2017
5 June 2017
Brexit could lead to a boom in tourism and high-end exports in the South East, according to a consultation of locals by trade experts at the University of Sussex.
However, there is growing concern about the logistical headache of potentially increased customs and immigration checks at South-East airports, seaports and the Channel Tunnel, the process found.
With the UK General Election only a week away, and with Brexit such an important issue for this election campaign, economists and lawyers from the UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) based at the University of Sussex have been exploring the key issues for post-Brexit trade policy for the South-East region. (more…)
Charlotte Humma June 5th, 2017
31 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 sixth 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 SNP 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…)
Charlotte Humma May 31st, 2017
30 May 2017
The UK has accounted for a major share of the world’s wine imports for centuries, and wine currently accounts for more than one-third of UK alcohol consumption. Its withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit) will therefore affect not only UK wine consumers, producers, traders, distributors and retailers but also suppliers of those imports.
Based on a model of the world’s wine markets, in their Briefing Paper ‘Will Brexit harm UK and global wine markets?’ Professor Anderson and Glyn Wittwer determine the impacts of various alternative Brexit scenarios through to 2025, involving adjustments to UK and EU27 bilateral tariffs on wine imports and any changes to UK income growth and the value of the pound over the period of adjustment.
Their research indicates that for wine markets, the impact of the UK leaving the Customs Union is likely to come not only from tariff changes but also from slowed growth of UK incomes and devaluation of the pound. (more…)
Charlotte Humma May 30th, 2017
24 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 fourth 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 Green 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.
A central aim of the Green Party is for the UK to remain in the EU, or at least in the single market. The former implies no change to current trade policies and hence little need to discuss them in the manifesto. Thus their coverage of trade policy beyond that with the EU is restricted to human rights and social and environmental conditions.
Katherine Davies May 24th, 2017