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31 May 2022

Ruby Acquah and Mattia Di Ubaldo are Fellows of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Research Fellows in Economics at the University of Sussex Business School

Tensions over the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) have intensified as the UK Government (henceforth HMG) announced plans to introduce legislation that would enable it to disapply parts of the Protocol.  The UK has often demanded the re-negotiation of the NIP due to its economic costs, and a too strict application by the EU. Recently, Assembly elections in Northern Ireland escalated the urgency of resolving the issue, as the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is currently refusing, as part of its protest against the NIP, to participate in the power-sharing executive. (more…)

May 31st, 2022

Posted In: UK- EU

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Share this article: FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailErika Szyszczak27 March 2020

Erika Szyszczak is Professor Emerita at Sussex Law School and a Fellow of UKTPO.

Recent weeks have seen the rapid implementation of measures to manage and maintain EU state aid policy during the COVID-19 crisis. Some Member States, including the UK, have adopted urgent measures to ameliorate damage to their economies. During the transitional period of the Withdrawal Agreement the UK must follow EU law and therefore the responses by the UK Government to the COVID-19 fiscal and economic crisis should comply with EU rules. (more…)

March 27th, 2020

Posted In: UK- EU

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Share this article: FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailAlasdair Smith, author17 October 2019

Alasdair Smith ian Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex and is a member of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

Most of us may not yet have found the time to read and absorb the text of the new Brexit withdrawal agreement, but we can read the texts which “a Number 10 source”, whom we non-journalists are allowed to call Dominic Cummings, has sent to journalists. These texts deserve critical scrutiny. (more…)

October 17th, 2019

Posted In: UK- EU

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Share this article: FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailImage 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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Share this article: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail3 August 2018

Photo of Emily LydgateDr Emily Lydgate is a lecturer in Law, Dr Peter Holmes is a reader in Economics and Dr Michael Gasiorek is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sussex.  They are all fellows of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.


In describing the future regulatory relationship between the EU and UK, the recent UK White Paper proposes the notion of ‘equivalence’ in some areas. This may seem like a mere technical requirement, but equivalence is a loaded word in trade policy circles, and the UK government’s reliance on it bears further scrutiny.

With respect to goods, ‘equivalence’ shows up in two main ways. First, the UK states that it will maintain equivalence (rather than exact harmonisation with EU regulation) for some food policy rules in the context of a (more…)

August 3rd, 2018

Posted In: UK- EU

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