Welcome to the UK Trade Policy Observatory

Following the decision to leave the EU, the UK needs to reconfigure its trade policy, successfully navigating a path through a new international trade landscape. The UK Trade Policy Observatory aims to ensure that new trade policies are constructed in a manner that benefits all.

For over four decades, the EU has handled most elements of international trade policy on Britain’s behalf. Brexit changes all that and there is now an urgent need to debate and define the UK’s place in the international trading system and then to negotiate it with our partners. This requires expert analysis, commentary and inputs from people experienced in trade policy formation and practice.

The UK Trade Policy observatory (UKTPO), a partnership between the University of Sussex and Chatham House, is an independent expert group that:

1) Initiates, comments on and analyses trade policy proposals for the UK;

2) Trains British policymakers, negotiators and other interested parties through tailored training packages.

Created in June 2016, the UKTPO is committed to engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders 
to ensure that the UK’s international trading environment is reconstructed in a manner that benefits all in Britain and is fair to Britain, the EU and the world.

Latest Briefing Paper - Destruction of the Union: Too high a price to pay for a US trade agreement

Trade policy animated videos

Our videos help to explain the effects of Brexit.

Free ports fact-checked explains how free ports work and why they are not the panacea for UK trade post-Brexit. Free ports will not significantly boost trade, create jobs or cut through red tape because they only delay tariff payments rather than abolish them.

More trade explainers are available on our animations page:

  • Brexit: Where does it hurt?
  • Rolling over the EU’s Free Trade Agreements
  • The Single Market
  • Customs Union
  • UK trade with the EU

November 25th, 2016

Posted In:

Share this article: 22 January 2020 With the UK set to embark on a new era of global trade negotiations for the first time in living memory, the importance of minimising friction in trade and having zero tariffs and quotas is more critical than ever to small businesses across the UK. In conjunction with the Federation of Small Businesses, we have produced a new major report (see summary slides) highlighting what small businesses need to capitalise upon from Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

January 22nd, 2020

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Comment

Share this article: 20 January 2020 The Welsh Government has published an independent report completed by the UK Trade Policy Observatory analysing the potential implications for Wales’ external trade as a result of the protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, as set out in the Withdrawal Agreement. The UKTPO analysis identifies issues that may impinge directly or indirectly on the Welsh economy as a result of the adoption of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland as part of the Withdrawal Agreement and subsequent Bill.

January 20th, 2020

Posted In: Uncategorised

Leave a Comment

Share this article: 14 January 2020 Dr Anna Jerzewska is a independent customs and trade consultant, an independent advisor with the UN International Trade Centre and also a trade policy and customs consultant for the British Chambers of Commerce. The UK is due to leave the EU on the 31st January 2020. A new stage of the Brexit process is set to begin – the transition period and negotiations of the future relationship with the EU. At the same time, work on the Northern Irish border arrangements is far from over. A newly established Joint Committee will negotiate the practicalities of implementing the Withdrawal Agreement. Under the Withdrawal Agreement (“WA”), Northern Ireland would stay in the UK’s customs territory but would at the same time continue applying EU’s customs legislation, tariffs, quotas and, partially, EU Single Market rules. This will avoid a border on the island of Ireland but will… Read More

January 14th, 2020

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment