2 February 2017
Dr Michael Gasiorek, senior Lecturer in Economics, Managing Director of InterAnalysis, and member of UKTPO responds to the United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union White Paper.
My top line response to the White Paper is that it is full of wishes and hopes, but there is very little specific detail in there. No doubt this is in part because the government would argue that it does not want to give too much away so as to strengthen their hand in the negotiations, but also because some of the problems are somewhat intractable, (eg. CTA and Ireland) and finally, because the government probably does not yet know itself.
Specifically, on trade, there really is almost nothing new in the White Paper. One can exegetically examine the wording to see if there are any new insights but these are hard to find. I thought it was interesting how much work had gone into discussing dispute resolution, and wonder whether it suggests any view regarding the likelihood of future disputes?
This is not about being negative for the sake of being negative. The UK has put itself in a genuinely difficult and challenging position. While there may be opportunities for new trade deals and these need exploring, it is hard to see how these could (economically) compensate for possible cliff-edge reductions in trade with the EU, and all the countries in the EU, and therefore with whom the UK has existing trade relations with. To overcome this is going to require serious creativity and genuine goodwill.
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