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16 January 2018

Dr Peter Holmes Reader in Economics at the University of Sussex and Fellow of the UKTPO. Nick Jacob is a PhD Candidate in Economics at the University of Sussex.

The need for UK firms to comply with detailed Rules of Origin in a possible post-Brexit Free Trade Agreement with the EU has been widely reported. But the different procedures which firms could use to prove their compliance — and the costs to firms in time and money — have been mostly overlooked. (more…)

January 15th, 2018

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Photo of Emily Lydgate7 December 2017

Dr Emily Lydgate is a lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex and a fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

How can the UK uphold its commitment to leaving the EU Single Market and Customs Union while also preserving the invisible intra-Irish border? Leaving aside crucial questions of political feasibility, this post looks at some of the options and their trade and border implications. Notably, there are limits to ‘flexible and creative’ solutions that involve turning a blind eye to customs and regulatory checks solely on the intra-Irish border: trade rules leave little room for such ad hoc approaches. (more…)

December 7th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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17 October 2017

Steve McGuire is Professor of Business and Public Policy and Head of the School of Business, Management and Economics at the University of Sussex. He is a Fellow of the UKTPO.

Bombardier has found an elegant solution to its trade problems with the United States: sell a controlling stake in the programme to a company with deeper pockets to defend itself – and with a US production base immune, by definition, from US tariffs. (more…)

October 17th, 2017

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17 October 2017

Lower-income households would be disproportionately affected should the UK revert to WTO tariffs

Exiting the EU without a trade deal and reverting to WTO ‘most-favoured nation’ (MFN) tariffs with the EU would lead to significant price rises across a range of goods, with low-income households facing the biggest cost pressures. This is according to a new joint-report published by the Resolution Foundation and the UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex. (more…)

October 17th, 2017

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27 September 2017

Steve McGuire is Professor of Business and Public Policy and Head of the School of Business, Management and Economics at the University of Sussex. He is a Fellow of the UKTPO.

As Bombardier is bombarded with a 220% tariff increase on exports to the US, the UK needs to wise up. There are two key points from the Boeing-Bombardier dispute that have implications for Brexit. First, leaving the European Union will not affect the sovereignty that national governments already have to dish out state aid for key industries. This will not change. Second, and this is the critical point, trade is bound up in broader political calculations. (more…)

September 27th, 2017

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Michael Gasiorek27 September 2017

Dr Peter Holmes Reader in Economics and Dr Michael Gasiorek is Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sussex and Director and  Managing Director of InterAnalysis respectively. Both are Fellows of the UKTPO.

With respect to the post-Brexit period, the UK needs to sort out its trade relationships not just with the EU but also with non-EU countries. In regard to the EU, Mrs May’s stated objective is for an “implementation” period during which “access to one another’s markets should continue on current terms”,  such that “businesses and public services should only have to plan for one set of changes in the relationship between the UK and the EU”.  However, for this to be possible, the UK will also have to deal with the relationship with non-EU countries.  In this blog, we focus on an important aspect of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) which centres around something which is a bit technical and often not well understood – called “Rules of Origin” (RoOs).[1] (more…)

September 27th, 2017

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Image of Alan Winters21 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…)

August 21st, 2017

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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

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14 August 2017

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.

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August 14th, 2017

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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 PaperWill 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…)

May 30th, 2017

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