8 July 2020
Dr Minako Morita-Jaeger, International Trade Policy Consultant and Fellow, UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex.
Japan and the UK launched the Japan-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiation on 9th June. The two governments agreed to “work quickly to make the new partnership as ambitious, high standard, and mutually beneficial as the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement”. As negotiations accelerate, there are three fundamental issues to consider when assessing the deal. (more…)
Charlotte Humma July 8th, 2020
3 July 2020
A car constructed entirely of Korean components could be classed as Made in Britain under proposals put forward by the UK Government to the EU, our new analysis reveals.
As part of its negotiations over a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the UK is calling on the EU to allow it to escape EU tariffs on products made with imported parts from any country in the world that both the EU and the UK have FTAs with.
The UK Government is requesting that goods using inputs imported from third parties should be treated as if they had been made in the UK so long as the two relevant FTAs have equivalent rules of origin. (more…)
George Meredith July 3rd, 2020
Posted In: UK- EU
26 May 2020
Dr Emily Lydgate is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law at the University of Sussex and a Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.
The fundamental difference between the EU and UK positions on environment and climate is that of tradition (in the UK) versus innovation (in the EU). In fact tradition is somewhat of an understatement – the UK has made good on its aspiration for a ‘Canada-style’ deal by copying the environment chapter from that Agreement in its proposed EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) more or less verbatim. This chapter is relatively mild in the level of obligation it imposes. It requires parties to uphold and enforce their own domestic environmental laws, but only if failing to do so would encourage trade and investment. Violation of this commitment does not lead to trade sanctions or fines. This raises some questions. (more…)
George Meredith May 26th, 2020
Posted In: UK- EU
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).
George Meredith January 22nd, 2020
25 February 2019
Julia Magntorn Garrett is a Research Officer in Economics at the University of Sussex and a fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.
Two weeks ago, the UKTPO called for further transparency on the Government’s current progress on replicating the existing agreements between the EU and third countries. On Thursday last week, Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox MP made a public announcement confirming that little had changed since he gave evidence to the International Trade Select Committee on the 6 February and that the progress has been minimal. So far, only six out of the 40 existing trade agreements have been signed, covering a total of 9 countries; Chile, Faroe Islands, Switzerland, Israel, Palestinian Authority, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe. One further agreement is close to being finalised, adding another 2 countries (Fiji and Papua New Guinea) to the list. This still leaves about 60 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries without continuity agreements.
Dr Fox also announced that some agreements will definitely not be in place for exit day, those with Andorra, Japan, Turkey, and San Marino. The agreement with Algeria is also unlikely to be ready. When it comes to numbers, the announcement is thin on details. The Department for International Trade states that the EU-FTA agreements account for 11% of the UK’s trade, a figure that seems low to start with. No further information is provided as to how important the signed countries are to the UK’s trade, or how much of the UK’s trade with the rest of the FTA group is still at risk if we have a hard Brexit in about a month’s time. This blog aims to fill some of these gaps. (more…)
Charlotte Humma February 25th, 2019
Posted In: UK - Non EU
12 February 2019
Dr Michael Gasiorek is a Senior Lecturer in Economics and Julia Magntorn Garrett is a Research Officer in Economics at the University of Sussex. Both are fellows of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.
As a member of the EU, the UK is party to around 40 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with more than 70 countries. Over the last two years or so, the Government has stated that it intends to roll over, or more formally, ‘replicate’ these agreements. Indeed, in 2017 Liam Fox claimed that ”we’ll have up to 40 ready for one second after midnight in March 2019”. However, in recent weeks it has become clear that this is not going to happen, and that at best there will only be a very small number of agreements replicated. In this blog, we give some summary statistics outlining why this matters economically and which sectors are most vulnerable. We also discuss why, practically, very few agreements can be replicated by the current withdrawal date.
Charlotte Humma February 12th, 2019
Posted In: UK- EU
6 February 2019
Professor Erika Szyszczak is a Professor of Law at the University of Sussex and Fellow of UKTPO.
The UK Government and Parliament are mired in political manoeuvres on what the post-Brexit trade landscape should look like, but it is business as usual in the European Courts, with a salient reminder that a “No-Deal” Brexit could leave the UK waiting for many years for a legally certain trade agreement with the EU. (more…)
Charlotte Humma February 6th, 2019
Posted In: UK- EU
Dr Peter Holmes, Reader in Economics at the University of Sussex, Director of Interanalysis and Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory
Since the Government’s defeat in the House of Commons, there has been a flurry of comments, notably from Steve Baker arguing that Mrs May’s deal can be replaced by some form of Free Trade Agreement.
One must immediately point out that the treaty basis of the Withdrawal Agreement does not include a long-term trade agreement. This can only be negotiated after Brexit. But even if it could be negotiated now, it would not solve the problem of the Irish Border. The UK and the EU in both the Good Friday Agreement and the Dec 2017 joint statement committed themselves not merely to barrier-free trade in goods with no hard border in Ireland, but to the preservation of an All-Island Economy. (more…)
Charlotte Humma January 17th, 2019
Posted In: UK- EU
L. Alan Winters CB, Professor of Economics and Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory, Dr Michael Gasiorek, a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sussex and Peter Holmes, Reader in Economics at the University of Sussex both fellows of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.
On Tuesday, the UK Government released a set of cross-Departmental estimates of the possible economic costs of different Brexit options. They were based on the Government’s own modelling, which uses a technique known as a Computable General Equilibrium modelling and is based on the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) consortium’s world model and dataset. The aim is to model (very approximately) the important linkages in an economy over a medium to long-term horizon and to assess the possible impact of changes in trade policy on the economy. (Short-term modelling, over a five year period, was simultaneously released by the Bank of England, but we do not discuss it here). The modelling approach is relatively standard, has been applied competently and honestly and produces results fairly much in line with other studies of the impact of Brexit.
This blog highlights some of the trade-related aspects of the modelling exercise and its results. As with all modelling, the main issues concern the assumptions that users input into the model rather than the model itself. (more…)
Charlotte Humma November 30th, 2018
Alasdair Smith is an Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex and is a member of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.
The UK Cabinet has signed off the draft EU Withdrawal Agreement (WA) and the Political Declaration (PD) about the future UK-EU trade relationship. The WA has had such a rocky reception in the Conservative Party that the future path of decision-making is a bit uncertain, but it is likely that these documents will also be agreed by the EU summit later this month. The decision-making then passes one way or another to the UK Parliament. Politics has dominated this week’s debates, but decisions need to be informed by economic assessment. Let’s consider the economic costs and benefits of the choices which Parliament will have to make.
Charlotte Humma November 16th, 2018
Posted In: UK- EU