Our animated videos help to explain the effects of trade policy.

Gains from trade (part 2) looks at why trade results in winners and losers. Specialisation and the competition it creates in and between firms will mean some firms benefit whilst others struggle to adapt and / or compete. These firms may be forced to cut jobs or even close down and this, in turn, impacts on the workers and regions where those firms are located. But trade is only one factor that leads to winners and losers. Technology, for example, has had a significant impact. We show that various policies can help to mitigate the negative effects of trade on workers and regions and how these can be better than protectionism.

Gains from trade (part 1) looks at the reasons why international trade can benefit an economy – be this through specialisation, more competition, or by leading to productivity change. An economy can therefore gain both by trading with countries which are very similar and those that are quite different. But not all firms, people or regions within an economy necessarily benefit from trade, and there may be both winners and losers.

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.

‘Brexit: Where does it hurt?’ portrays the potential shock that a ‘no deal’ Brexit may have on jobs across the 632 parliamentary constituencies in Britain. Allowing for commuting, we find that the economic cost of Brexit is widely spread and it is clear that the Brexit shock would eliminate a particular number of jobs.

For a detailed explanation of the research for this video, please see explanatory note in ‘The vulnerability of different parliamentary constituencies to Brexit economic shocks’

‘Grandfathering the EU’s Free Trade Agreements’ explains why rolling over these agreements is likely to be highly complicated, and will necessarily impact on trade. Rules of Origin and other clauses in some of these agreements mean that this will not be a simple cut and paste ‘UK’ job.

‘The ins and outs of the Single Market’ explains what the Single Market is, how it works and the ways it effects trade, and thereby the economy. Ultimately, the video explains that there is a trade-off between making your laws independently and cooperating sufficiently to be a part of a bigger market and achieve higher incomes.

‘The Customs Union: The Fiction of ‘Frictionless’ Trade’ shows what leaving the EU Customs Union entails and that you need much more cooperation than just a customs union in order to achieve the same level of trade costs as we have now.

‘With or without EU’ shows that in terms of trade policy choosing trade priorities on the basis of aggregate UK data does not take into account the fact that the nations within the UK are exposed to trade with the EU in different ways.