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Image of Alan Winters1 June 2018

L. Alan Winters CB is Professor of Economics and Director of the Observatory.

President Trump threatened them two months ago and invited various countries to avoid them by agreeing ‘voluntarily’ to curtail their exports to the USA. Korea, Argentina, Australia and Brazil agreed to do so but, to their credit, Canada, the European Union and Mexico did not, and so face 25 percent tariffs from today. (more…)

June 1st, 2018

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2 May 2018

Dr Michael Gasiorek is Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sussex and Managing Director of InterAnalysis. He is a Fellow of the UKTPO.

The red lines laid down by the UK government, and those laid down by the EU, together with the agreement that there will be no ‘hard’ border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are mutually incompatible. This was discussed in some detail in our March 2018 Briefing Paper UK-EU trade relations post-Brexit: binding constraints and impossible solutions. In that Briefing Paper, we concluded that: “The current set of the UK government’s overlapping conditions or constraints cannot be reconciled. The solution space appears to be null. The only way of resolving this is to drop and/or relax at least one or more of the conditions.” (more…)

May 2nd, 2018

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Photo of Emily Lydgate2 May 2018

Dr Emily Lydgate is a lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex and a fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Dr Rob Amos is a Research Fellow in Law, Sussex Sustainability Research Programme, University of Sussex. Rob is conducting a project on Sustainable Trade Post-Brexit in collaboration with the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

If the UK is going to live up to its commitments to ‘Green Brexit’, climate change mitigation and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the UK should develop its own Sustainability Impact Assessments framework to minimise negative impacts and maximise benefits of future trade agreements. (more…)

May 2nd, 2018

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29 March 2018

Dr Ingo Borchert is Senior Lecturer in Economics and a fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Julia Magntorn is Research Assistant in Economics at the Observatory.

With one year to go until the UK will leave the European Union (EU), sorting out Britain’s trade relation with the EU is the most important task.  Yet the design of the future UK-EU agreement has implications for trade policy towards non-EU countries.  On account of this, the British Prime Minister in her Mansion House speech ruled out forming a new customs union with the EU because this “would not be compatible with a meaningful independent trade policy.”  Indeed, having sovereignty over its external trade policy post-Brexit has been at the forefront of the UK’s negotiation agenda, and consequently, the provision in the current draft Withdrawal Agreement that the UK may commence Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with other countries during the transition period was perceived as an important concession won. (more…)

March 29th, 2018

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image of Ilona26 March 2018

Ilona Serwicka is Research Fellow in the economics of Brexit at the UKTPO

The UK economy will be worse off after Brexit regardless of the terms of departure from the EU: this is (with a small number of exceptions) a consensus reached by previous analyses of the impact of Brexit. Anything that differs from the status quo of EU membership – ranging from a ‘soft’ Brexit that involves staying within the Customs Union and/or the Single Market to a ‘hard’ scenario of leaving the EU with no deal – will hurt growth prospects for the UK economy. (more…)

March 26th, 2018

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Image of Alan Winters22 March 2018

Julia Magntorn is Research Assistant in Economics at the UKTPO and L. Alan Winters CB is Professor of Economics and Director of the Observatory.

The European Union is likely to reject a significantly enhanced version of its Canada trade deal for the UK after Brexit.

Our in-depth analysis of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada concludes that the EU’s commitment to the Single Market is so deeply ingrained that a substantial loosening of the rules for the UK would be politically impossible.

The EU may agree to some exceptions but these would fall far short of a bespoke deal and would be a poor substitute for the Single Market, say the report’s authors Julia Magntorn and L. Alan Winters. (more…)

March 22nd, 2018

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Michael Gasiorek23 February 2018

Dr Michael Gasiorek is Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sussex and Director and  Managing Director of InterAnalysis respectively. He is a Fellow of the UKTPO.

Before and since the Brexit referendum there have been numerous criticisms made of economic models, of the views of ‘experts’ and the supposed inaccuracy of their forecasts.[1] But these critiques are mostly based on misunderstandings, so, as an economist and long-time modeller, I want to explain the value – and the limitations – of modelling.  Models are indeed extremely useful and should be used to help inform public policy – but you need to use them appropriately.

Myth buster: “Models are not designed to provide accurate predictions / forecasts of future reality”. (more…)

February 23rd, 2018

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22 February 2018

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

This week  Economists for Free Trade (EfFT) suggested that if the post-Brexit UK were to embrace unilateral free trade (UFT), the net effect of Brexit would be positive rather than negative. Earlier work on unilateral free trade has focused exclusively or largely on tariff reductions – and this latest paper has the merit of recognising that border costs and non-tariff measures (NTMs) should be brought into the analysis. Unfortunately, as Jonathan Portes and Chris Giles have observed, the EfFT assumptions are not credible.[1] (more…)

February 22nd, 2018

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15 February 2018

Rob Amos, Research Fellow in Law, Sussex Sustainability Research Programme, University of Sussex. Rob is conducting a project on Sustainable Trade Post-Brexit in collaboration with the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

As the UK begins to devise its independent trade policy, it is essential that any new trade agreements it negotiates are subject to Parliamentary, as well as public, oversight and scrutiny. To facilitate such oversight, the UK should undertake Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) for these agreements. If the UK is serious about sustainable development, it must ensure that any future trade agreements do not negatively impact the environment and communities either at home or abroad. (more…)

February 15th, 2018

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Image of Alasdair SmithMichael Gasiorek6 February 2018

Alasdair Smith is an Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex, Dr Michael Gasiorek is Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sussex and Director and Managing Director of InterAnalysis, Ilona Serwicka is Research Fellow in the Economics of Brexit. All are Fellows of the UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO).

How would different versions of Brexit affect the UK economy? Are some parts of the economy likely to be affected more than others? Will trade deals with the rest of the world make up for any loss of UK access to EU markets? These are highly topical questions this week as the UK Cabinet’s Brexit committee makes important decisions about its objectives in the next stage of the Brexit negotiations.

They are the questions we seek to address in our new Briefing Paper ‘Which Manufacturing Sectors are Most Vulnerable to Brexit?’, published today. As it says on the tin, we answer them only for the manufacturing sectors; and in doing so we take a very disaggregated approach to UK manufacturing. (more…)

February 6th, 2018

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