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Image of Alan Winters29 March 2019

Nicolo Tamberi is Research Assistant in Economics for the UK Trade Policy Observatory and L. Alan Winters CB is Professor of Economics and Director of the Observatory.

The eight EU Trade Agreements that the UK has rolled-over replicate current trading conditions with their respective partners to a substantial extent. However, conditions could still deteriorate for at least two reasons:

  • A bilateral negotiation that excludes the EU can only partially overcome possible problems with rules of origin;
  • UK regulation and/or certification can be recognised only where partners have not tied themselves to EU regulations. Where they have, recognition of UK regulation and certification must wait until the UK also aligns with the EU.

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March 29th, 2019

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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Image of Alan Winters14 March 2019

Dr Michael Gasiorek is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sussex and Julia Magntorn Garrett is a Research Officer in Economics at the University of Sussex. Both are fellows of the UK Trade Policy Observatory. L. Alan Winters CB is Professor of Economics and Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

Key points:

  • Around 72% of UK’s MFN tariff lines will see reduced protection.
  • The UK’s average MFN tariff is reduced significantly, from around 7.7% to 0.7%; however this does little to increase the share of duty-free imports.
  • The UK’s MFN tariff proposal will reduce tariffs on many products imported from countries currently trading on WTO terms, but increase them on imports from the EU.

Following the first defeat of the Withdrawal Bill in Parliament, and prior to yesterday’s vote on a ‘No Deal’ alternative, the Government published the temporary tariff schedule it proposes to apply in the event of a no deal. As with most things Brexit, this is complicated to unpick, especially as some of the listed items are simply asterisked, and the details on these need to be found in another (1400 page) document! (more…)

March 14th, 2019

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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Image of Alan Winters13 March 2019

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

With Mrs May’s deal again defeated in the House of Commons yesterday evening, Professor L. Alan Winters asks how the UK got to be within 16 days of leaving the EU with no agreed plan for its departure or future relationship with the EU.

In the video ‘Mrs May’s Impasse’ Professor Winters explains how incompatible economic and political agendas and ill-considered red-lines led to the current impasse on Brexit and argues that one or the other has to give if the UK is to avoid ‘No Deal’.

March 13th, 2019

Posted In: UK- EU

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Image of Alan Winters12 March 2019

Julia Magntorn Garrett is a Research Officer in Economics at the University of Sussex and a fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and L. Alan Winters CB is Professor of Economics and Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

Tariffs are the simplest and most direct of the tools of trade policy: they are taxes on imports. Broadly speaking, high tariffs help to shelter domestic industries from international competition, whereas lower tariffs increase competition and benefit consumers through both lower prices and permitting a wider variety of products to choose from. Despite saying that taking back control of its trade policy is imperative and that the UK may have its own trade policy in under three weeks (30th March), the Government has yet to reveal its policy for UK tariffs. The Financial Times recently reported that the plan was to eliminate the majority of industrial tariffs and, in the same vein, Sky News reported on the Government’s intention to cut 80-90% of all tariffs to zero. Many business owners are anxiously awaiting further information, as they may have only a matter of weeks to adjust to changes that could seriously affect their business. (more…)

March 12th, 2019

Posted In: UK- EU

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Photo of Emily Lydgate11 March 2019

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

On Tuesday Theresa May will again bring before Parliament the EU deal for which she suffered a defeat of 230 votes – the worst ever. Whilst the scale of the defeat suggests that the deal is an affront to the will of MPs, the rejected Withdrawal Agreement, with its Northern Irish ‘backstop’, accomplished two things that many support – or at least are moving toward by default. The first is a trade agreement that respects the outcome of the Referendum yet provides a measure of frictionless trade. The second is to avoid leaving the EU with no deal.

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March 11th, 2019

Posted In: UK- EU

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5 March 2019

Ilona Serwicka is Research Fellow in the economics of Brexit at the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

Last week, the United States published a document that set out their negotiating objectives for a trade agreement with the UK, shortly after the publication of virtually identical documents for negotiating with the EU and with Japan. Those in the UK who expected ‘special treatment’ from the US are in for a disappointment, but not a surprise (as UKTPO researchers pointed out in October 2016). In negotiating with major trading partners after Brexit, the UK is likely to be a price taker because of a power imbalance. (more…)

March 5th, 2019

Posted In: UK - Non EU

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