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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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Briefing Paper 59 – June 2021

Ingo Borchert, Michael Gasiorek, Emily Lydgate, L. Alan Winters

Key Points

Introduction

WTO reform: Plurilateral Agreements

Trade and Health

Digital Trade

Trade and Climate Policy

Conclusion

Editorial Note

Key points

For the first time, the G7 has an explicit ‘trade track’ as part of its discussions. This opens the door to cooperation and progress in a range of key areas.

  • International trade is increasingly about services, digital products and delivery, domestic regulation, and links to non-trade areas such as health and climate change.  The WTO is struggling to keep up. The UK should use its G7 Presidency to help overcome its slow progress by leading the G7 to create a system to facilitate open plurilateral agreements (OPAs).
  • In addition to discussions on the role that trade can play in addressing the COVID pandemic, G7 leaders should recognise that trade and investment agreements need to make it easier for governments to pursue legitimate health policies with regard to non-communicable diseases in non-discriminatory and minimally trade-distorting ways.
  • The G7 can also advance the possibility of future policy coordination over data regulation by including specific policies and recommendation on digital trade as part of the G7 communique.
  • The G7 could help to reduce CO2 emissions by establishing a road map for determining acceptable parameters to resolve the Carbon Border Adjustments (CBAs) trilemma and considering a climate club where countries with ambitious climate targets work together while levying a CBA on those countries with less ambitious targets.

Introduction

The G7 summit agenda includes an explicit ‘Trade Track’ comprising of four items for discussion: WTO reform; trade and health; digital trade; and trade and climate policy.[1] These topics cover significant and inter-related areas of international trade policy. We commend their inclusion in the summit, but we are also conscious that they are broad and complex issues without easy or quick solutions.

In this Briefing Paper, we briefly summarise the significance of each trade track area and offer recommendations for desirable actions. We recognise that a G7 meeting can only start off a process of delivering global solutions in these areas, but every journey starts with a single step. We first deal with WTO reform, or more precisely a specific aspect of WTO reform which concerns what are known as ‘plurilateral’ agreements. This analysis and the recommendations therein also inform the discussion of climate change and digital trade.

WTO reform: Plurilateral Agreements

It is widely accepted that international economic relations depend upon a smoothly functioning multilateral trading system. That trading system, institutionally underpinned by the World Trade Organization (WTO), can both stimulate economic activity and help to promote international cooperation in spheres such as climate change and migration. However, the WTO is becoming less relevant to a world in which services account for a growing share of trade, interest in environmental regulation (notably on CO2  emissions) is growing, and digital technology is reshaping our lives.

These issues impinge directly on international trade and thus fall within the broad remit of international rule-making in the WTO. However, decision making in the WTO typically requires consensus from all the Members, which is difficult to achieve when Members have different ideas about what the appropriate rules for dealing with such challenges are. Thus, not only has it become difficult for countries to agree on how to move forward, but these differences are creating new tensions in the global trading system.

One solution that would help to overcome the impasse would be to facilitate those within the WTO who want to change particular rules to proceed among themselves by signing so-called ‘plurilateral’ agreements. However, at present there is insufficient trust by those who do not want change to allow those that do want this kind of change to go down this route. [2]

As chair of the G7 discussion, the UK could make a major contribution by leading the G7 to agree a system that made such plurilaterals more constructive and less threatening to others. The open plurilateral agreements (OPAs – Hoekman and Sabel, 2021)[3] that we have in mind would be fairly narrowly focussed agreements signed by a subset of WTO Members, which committed them (and only them) to take on new obligations. The rights that these obligations created for others would either (i) apply to all WTO Members or (ii) apply only to other signatories of the plurilateral, but with a condition that the plurilateral would be open to any other WTO Member to join. These agreements would have to ensure that:

  • they did not curtail other Members’ existing rights but added to them, and that if the signatories did not honour the agreement they would be subject to challenge; and that
  • membership would be genuinely open, including, where appropriate, technical assistance to help less well-off countries develop the capacity to meet the plurilateral’s obligations.

A new system would:

  1. define a code of conduct that committed signatories to these requirements,
  2. create a mechanism, involving transparency, information exchange and dialogue to try to resolve tensions within each OPA before they became full-blown WTO disputes,
  3. support early analysis to optimise the design of OPAs in ways which were seen to be even-handed, and
  4. establish a means for the WTO to monitor the performance and effects of OPAs.

If each G7 member committed that any plurilateral in which it was engaged would respect items (1) and (2), and if, together, they actively promoted items (3) and (4), it would go a long way towards persuading non-signatories that they had sufficient protections. This would give WTO Members as a group the confidence to welcome proposals from subsets of them to advance on certain rules and thus start the process of updating the WTO for the twenty-first century.

Trade and health

The Trade Track contains a fairly detailed discussion of trade and health in the Communique from G7 Trade Ministers (28th May 2021).[4] It is largely concerned with the role that trade can play in addressing the COVID pandemic: it promises to ‘prioritise discussions and support work at the WTO in identifying solutions to expand global vaccine production and distribution’; ‘support[s] open, diversified, secure, and resilient supply chains in the manufacture of Covid-19 critical goods and vaccines and their components, as well as broad global availability’, and reaffirms the role for the Trade Facilitation Agreement in easing COVID-related trade. G7 leaders should certainly endorse these sentiments and commit personally to furthering them.

One thing that is missing is any discussion of so-called non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which kill an estimated 42 million people a year. Significant parts of this are due to tobacco consumption, the excessive use of alcohol and unhealthy diets. The producer industries concerned sometimes resort to international trade and/or investment agreements to hinder governments’ attempts to regulate their practices. G7 leaders could make a valuable contribution by recognising that NCDs are a major problem and that trade and investment agreements need to be written or amended to make it easier for governments to pursue legitimate health policies in non-discriminatory and minimally trade-distorting ways. Doing so would affirm that trade and health can be mutually supportive and so help to bolster the rules-based world trading order that has brought so much prosperity to the modern world.

Digital Trade

Digital trade encompasses digitally ordered transactions such as e-commerce and digitally delivered services, ranging from publishing, telecommunications, or audiovisual services to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the provision of goods and services. The value of digital trade, whilst difficult to ascertain with accuracy, is huge: in 2019, the global value of international e-commerce stood at an estimated $3.6 trillion, to which digitally delivered services would add another $2 trillion. Thus, by some estimates, digital trade was likely worth $5.5 – 6 trillion in 2019, or roughly a quarter of total world exports. Furthermore, digital trade is expanding rapidly: global exports of computer services, for instance, grew by 11% in 2019. Fundamentally, digitisation changes how and where goods and services are produced and consumed, and in particular can support the trading ambitions of small enterprises. In the UK, the smallest businesses—those with fewer than ten employees—were able to capture £4.5 billion worth of overseas e-commerce (digitally-ordered transactions) sales in 2019. From additive manufacturing to artificial intelligence, digitisation also leads to more and more services being used in production. In so doing, digital trade affects the competitiveness of all sectors.

Underpinning digital trade is the movement of data, which in turn requires regulatory oversight. Regulation is needed because the data that are being moved across borders may raise concerns about consumer protection, cyber security, or intellectual property rights. The uneven capacity to benefit from digitisation and digital trade, referred to as the ‘digital divide’, also raises distributional concerns and is—again—one reason why some less well-off countries are very reluctant to move forward on digital trade within the WTO. Moreover, countries’ preferences over what is deemed optimal in each of the aforementioned areas of public policy, from privacy to intellectual property protection, vary quite significantly. Hence, international policy coordination is prone to be difficult. Analogously to carbon leakage, there is a risk of ‘data governance leakage’ giving countries with less demanding regulatory regimes a competitive advantage over those with more demanding regulatory regimes.

In as much as more international coordination on digital trade policy is needed, countries also first need to have their own national conversations about their objectives in regulating digital activity and the trade-offs that this entails. These dialogues can crystallise e.g. in National AI Strategies or National Data Strategies (the UK published one in September 2020). If digital trade rules emerged from international bodies and/or trade agreements without such domestic consultations or at least broad-based implicit domestic consent, there could eventually be a backlash against trade cooperation in general.

The G7 are clearly not in a position to resolve the international policy coordination issues raised by the growth of digital trade. But the group could advance the possibility of future policy coordination by:

  • Agreeing on the importance of international coordination on policies over data flow regulation. This entails exploring mechanisms for rendering the prevailing approaches to data governance more interoperable. This dialogue will have to engage China in some form, which is neither part of the G7 nor a guest at the upcoming summit.
  • Recognising that the presence of a few large digital intermediary platforms entails opportunities and risks. The G7 economies are home to many of these companies and the group should therefore explore ways of coordinating on competition policy in a way that would have global benefits.
  • Agreeing on the need to have better statistical evidence on the extent of digital trade, and on barriers to digital trade and their consequences.
  • Supporting and endorsing the e-commerce negotiations currently underway at the WTO, which have gathered momentum in the run-up to the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference. In April 2021, WTO Members finalised a clean text on e-signatures and authentication, and the G7 should throw their weight behind reaching agreement in other areas as well, such as online consumer protection, customs duties on electronic transmissions or open internet access, amongst others.
  • Without undercutting the multilateral efforts, exploring the possibility of solutions through a digital trade open plurilateral agreement and support this initiative with technical work, capacity building, full transparency and mechanisms for a far wider constituency than just rich countries to discuss the issues.

The completion of a digital OPA will depend on the ability to agree on a common, minimum set of regulatory principles, and a degree of flexibility that takes into account the different preferences of the OPA members; as well as transparency and monitoring and a means of discussing and addressing tensions and disputes. This will require considerable dialogue and interaction between governments, businesses, and consumer interests.

Including digital trade as part of the G7 communique could prove to be a significant step towards international policy coordination in this space, and it could be aided by creating the right conditions in the WTO for plurilaterals.

Trade and Climate Policy

The impacts of CO2 emissions on climate change are at the forefront of policymakers concerns. This can be seen in the ongoing revisions to national mitigation policies with many countries adopting more ambitious emissions reductions targets. It has, however, two potential unintended consequences. First, in so doing it increases costs for domestic industries, and may thus reduce their international competitiveness with respect to countries with less ambitions for policies / reductions. Second, it may encourage industries to relocate to locations with less onerous restrictions (carbon leakage) – thus undermining the global need to reduce carbon emissions.

One solution, which is being increasingly discussed and considered by policymakers, is that of Carbon Border Adjustments (CBAs). The idea behind CBAs is to tax the import of goods that have been produced in locations / countries which allow for more carbon-intensive methods. While CBAs could (in part) address the competitiveness and carbon leakage issues – from a policy point of view they raise an environmental, technical and equity trilemma.[5]

From an environmental perspective, CBAs should capture as many CO2 emissions as possible which suggests they should be wide-ranging. From a technical perspective, calculating the amount of CO2 in imported products is tricky and so the scope of CBAs should be narrow in order to increase their feasibility and cut down on red tape for businesses. From an equity and non-discrimination (WTO-compatibility) perspective, CBAs should not discriminate between domestic producers or trading partners and should take into account the needs of developing countries, which historically have contributed less to climate change and have fewer resources to meet the challenges of climate change mitigation. The higher the rates and the wider the range of taxed imports, the more likely it is that producers and/or national governments will raise complaints regarding equity and non-discrimination.

Balancing these concerns will be extremely difficult, yet CBAs will almost certainly have to be part of the solution. The G7 could help make progress on this, by:

  • acknowledging the need to resolve the CBA trilemma by establishing a road map for determining acceptable parameters for each of its elements;
  • considering a climate club where countries with ambitious climate targets work together by agreeing on how to determine equivalence in domestic carbon charges, such as linking emissions trading schemes, while levying a CBA on those countries with less ambitious targets.

For a climate club to work and indeed for the resolution of the trilemma there will need to be transparency and dialogue, means for addressing tensions, and an enforcement mechanism which allows either side to impose tariffs (CBAs) if the other isn’t keeping pace. If this sounds familiar – then an exclusive plurilateral (where the benefits are shared among participants only) may well be part of the viable solution.

CBAs are likely to be part of the trade-related solution to climate change, but there are other, complementary policies also to be considered including the liberalisation of tariffs in environmental goods and services, coordination/agreement on eco-labelling and policies to reduce fossil-fuel subsidies (see for example the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability between New Zealand, Costa Rica, Fiji and the EFTA countries[6]).

Conclusion

As we noted at the outset, a G7 meeting cannot deliver complete global solutions in these areas – just as we have seen with regard to the G7 multinational ‘tax deal’.[7] But the G7 and the UK’s Presidency could provide the initiative and leadership to get the ball rolling. The G7’s drive in actively advocating and supporting broader efforts in each of the four areas could be instrumental in generating genuine progress.

Editorial Note:

The G7 is an influential group of the seven largest democratic economies, which meets annually at Head of Government level to discuss issues and potential solutions of global concern. The G7 countries are: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Presidency of the G7 group of countries is on an annual rotating basis with the UK taking on this role in 2021. This gives the UK the opportunity to influence what is discussed and guide the discussion. The G7 summit is being held 11-13th June in Cornwall, and the UK has invited Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa to join as guests.

Footnotes

[1] https://www.g7uk.org/trade-ministers/

[2] It is always open to subsets of members to sign Free Trade Agreements, subject to some conditions one of which is that the FTA has a fairly broad reach. Moreover, FTAs do not support the multilateral trading system but instead create closed clubs of countries that treat each other preferentially.

[3] Hoekman, B. and C. Sabel. 2021. “Plurilateral Cooperation as an Alternative to Trade Agreements: Innovating One Domain at a Time,” Global Policy, 12(S3): 49-60: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1758-5899.12923

[4] G7 Trade Ministers’ Communiqué https://www.gov.uk/government/news/g7-trade-ministers-communique

[5] See https://blogs.sussex.ac.uk/uktpo/publications/the-carbon-border-adjustment-trilemma/ for a fuller discussion

[6] https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/trade/free-trade-agreements/trade-and-climate/agreement-on-climate-change-trade-and-sustainability-accts-negotiations/

[7] G7 tax deal is ‘starting point’ on road to global reform, Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/95dd0c00-7081-4890-bcef-b9642312db4d

June 9th, 2021

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Briefing Paper 58 – June 2021

Dr Totis Kotsonis, Pinsent Masons LLP

Key Points

Introduction

Consultations

Remedial measures

Rebalancing measures

The TCA taxonomy of harm

Concluding Remarks

Key points

  • The TCA is unprecedented amongst bilateral trade agreements in attempting to manage the delicate balance of maintaining regulatory convergence in certain policy areas without constraining future regulatory divergence. It does so by introducing the possibility of ‘rebalancing’ measures in the event of regulatory divergence leading to material impacts on trade and investment.
  • Even in the absence of regulatory divergence, and even if both parties conform with the subsidy principles, there may be scope for ‘remedial measures’ where subsidies have or risk having a significant negative effect on trade and investment.
  • The dispute resolution mechanisms underlying rebalancing and remedial measures are different with the possibility of introducing rebalancing measures more quickly, and with what appears to be a lower threshold with regard to impact on trade and investment, as well as arguably the possibility of justifying more significant trade defence measures.
  • The resolution of disputes with regard to remedial measures, may be complicated by the difficulties of the subsidy granting authority in recovering the subsidy or reversing the effects of the subsidy.
  • In the absence of an independent regulator with the power to assess TCA compliance on the UK side, UK subsidies might be more prone to challenges than EU State Aid. Further development of the UK domestic control subsidy system could address this issue.
  • The TCA inter-Party consultation provisions might prove crucial in limiting the risk of inter-Party disputes arising, which then lead to the imposition of unilateral trade defence measures.

(more…)

June 1st, 2021

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Image of Alan Winters4 December 2019

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

The Prime Minister seems to think that an ‘oven-ready’ Brexit deal is the best that we can choose from the menu of policy alternatives. It sounds neither appetising nor nourishing, but if it really were quick and easy, maybe it would be worth it.

But it’s not quick or easy: ‘oven-ready’ is just not true.

It is true that a Withdrawal Agreement exists and could be put to Parliament in December, but even that is not ready-to-go and passing the Withdrawal Agreement is not the same as Brexit. A couple of examples of how the Withdrawal Agreement is part-baked:

  • The financial settlement (the price tag) is not specified.
  • The Conservative manifesto promises Northern Ireland ‘unfettered access’ to the market in Great Britain. Launching it, two Cabinet Ministers said ‘There will never be any fees or tariffs on goods flowing between Northern Ireland and Great Britain and vice versa … .’ In fact, the Withdrawal Agreement clearly states that many goods flowing between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will face tariffs (at EU levels!) and the Brexit Secretary conceded in Parliament that there would be forms to fill for any goods flowing the other way.

Passing the Withdrawal Agreement and exiting on 31st January 2020, is just the start of a complex negotiation between the UK and the EU, which will be painful, long-lived and probably chaotic.

First, consider the parties.

For the EU, the negotiations will take place under Articles 207 and 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, which govern negotiations with countries outside the EU, and which have a far more demanding process for approval than the Withdrawal Agreement. The member-states have to agree to any deal unanimously and if the deal spreads into areas which are still governed by the States themselves (some services and investment), each will have to go through a ratification process that may involve their national and regional parliaments. The EU’s agreement with Canada, which took seven years to negotiate, was held up for nearly a year because the Wallonian Parliament declined to agree.

On the UK side, there has been no effort to spell out the implications of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that Mr Johnson wants, let alone the one he will get. For example, Michael Gove claimed on 26th November that because there was effectively no EU Single Market in services, UK services firms will suffer no adverse effects from Brexit with an FTA. Wrong! OECD has shown that EU barriers to service imports from third countries are, on average, four times higher than those between members. Canada failed to get much in services from the EU after seven years negotiating; the same will apply to us.

Second, consider the commitment to get it all done by December 2020. Any deadline puts pressure on both parties, but particularly the one with more at stake (the UK). The default at the end of 2020 is not the status quo but a ‘no deal’ Brexit, so the cliff-edge that plagued the March and October 2019 deadlines will be repeated.

Third, the content: we may agree to keep zero tariffs on all goods, but there will still be border formalities. In order to claim tariff exemptions, UK exporters will have to prove that their goods are substantially made in the UK. Most commentators reckon that together these frictions add perhaps 4% or 5% to the cost of exports. We may be able to negotiate better conditions than average, but not by December.

Worse than tariffs will be regulations.

First, UK exporters will have to prove that their goods meet EU standards. It doesn’t matter that the UK says they do, they have to prove it. Where standards are critical, either the UK government will have to enforce EU regulations throughout the UK (which a Johnson government won’t) or exporters will have to obtain certification from an EU-approved inspection agency. If that task is to be done in the UK, it needs to be negotiated.

If the EU is to give up its tariff protection, it will want to know that UK firms are not obtaining ‘unfair’ competitive advantages through lax labour or environmental rules or through subsidies or violations of competition law. (These are the so-called level-playing field conditions.) The current government clearly hates such constraints, but the EU will not commit to free trade without some such commitments – result impasse. Mr Johnson’s casual suggestion on 29th November that the UK relax EU rules on state-aid to companies will make this doubly difficult.

Finally, there are issues strictly lying outside an FTA, but which will inevitably be bound up with it. For example, whether airlines based in the UK can fly between EU cities and whether EU fishermen get access to UK waters in return for the UK selling its fish in the EU.

You can’t help feeling that it is us, the British public, that is oven-ready, who are going to get ‘done’.

We will have a torrid 2020 deciding what we want of an FTA and a worse time getting even a part of it. Much will remain undone by December 2020, and so the subsequent years will be spent trying to patch up the holes, one-by-one from a position of weakness. The UK will spend five years trying to restore commercial relations with the EU and still end up with something a lot less satisfactory for traders than we have at present.

This blog was first published by Remain United.

Disclaimer:
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the University of Sussex or UK Trade Policy Observatory.

Republishing guidelines:
The UK Trade Policy Observatory believes in the free flow of information and encourages readers to cite our materials, providing due acknowledgement. For online use, this should be a link to the original resource on our website. We do not publish under a Creative Commons license. This means you CANNOT republish our articles online or in print for free.

December 4th, 2019

Posted In: UK- EU

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Erika Szyszczak26 June 2019

Erika Szyszczak is a Research Professor in Law at the University of Sussex and a Fellow of UKTPO

The Dispute Mechanism Systems (DMS) in many trade agreements have lain dormant because countries preferred to use the World Trade Organization (WTO), with its Appellate mechanisms, as the forum to resolve international disputes. This may change in the coming years as the confidence in, and reliability of the WTO, is slowly paralysed by the disruptive attitude of the United States. One question that emerges is whether the use of EU dispute resolution mechanisms offer a faster and clearer approach towards dispute resolution and might serve as a model for future regional trade treaties. (more…)

June 26th, 2019

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Image of Alan Winters3 April 2019

Dr Michael Gasiorek is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sussex and a fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory. L. Alan Winters CB is Professor of Economics and Director of the Observatory.

Understandably the politics surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU are dominating current discussions. But the economics of the options still matter, and it is not always evident how well the core economic issues are understood.

In the light of the Government’s ‘approach’ to Labour to find a consensus and in the light of the indicative votes, the aim of this blog is to clearly outline the economic issues and summarise the likely consequences associated with two of the current (indicative) options. (more…)

April 3rd, 2019

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17 October 2018

Dr Michael Gasiorek is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sussex and a fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

UK-EU negotiations are in a mess. There appears to be a genuine impasse, where the stumbling block is the issue of no border in Ireland. The EU has indicated it is for the UK to make a better offer, while the UK is arguing that the EU needs to be more reasonable.  Both are right, if they want to avoid ‘no deal’. (more…)

October 17th, 2018

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Briefing Paper 8 – March 2017

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Kamala Dawar

Key Points

Introduction

Section 1: Government Procurement After Brexit: The International Context

Section 2: Options for UK Public Procurement Law and Policy

Conclusion

Further Information
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February 13th, 2018

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2021

For Northern Ireland, Brexit means red tape and subsidies, The Economist, 3 September 2021

UK-New Zealand trade deal close but will only have a ‘minuscule’ impact in British shops, experts say, The i, 31 August 2021

Brexit Britain wants to liberalise trade with poor countries, The Economist, 14 August 2021

Business chief calls on PM to save north-east from Brexit damage, The Guardian, 9 August 2021

‘Each makes the other more difficult to recover from’: University of Sussex professor L. Alan Winters speaks to Wikinews on trade, COVID-19, BrexitWikinews, 30 June 2021

Australia to enjoy exports boost six times greater than UK from trade deal, experts sayThe Independent, 22 June 2021

So geht es der Wirtschaft fünf Jahre nach dem Brexit-Votum, Der Spiegel, 22 June 2021

European retailers still tied up in post-Brexit red tapeThe Telegraph, 21 June 2021

Trade policies negotiated without proper scrutiny have big implications for BritainThe Times, 19 June 2021

Brexit faces problems at the Northern Irish borderThe Economist, 17 June 2021

UK-Australia trade deal: New work visa proposals for Brits’ explained, and why it might be smoke and mirrorsThe i, 17 June 2021

Tariffs axed immediately on Australian beef and lamb, triggering fears that farmers will be sent ‘to the wall’Independent, 16 June 2021

Australia will benefit more from UK trade deal says expertABC News, 16 June 2021

Britain Signs Its First Major Post-Brexit Trade Deal With AustraliaNew York Times, 15 June 2021

The UK’s big GMO food plan might not be that bigWired, 14 June 2021

G7 summit 2021: Boris Johnson says he will do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect territorial integrity of UK after NI spatThe Times, 13 June 2021

A carbon tax on imports is the wrong way to level up world tradeThe Times, 10 June 2021

Warning over lower pesticide standards as UK eyes Pacific free trade dealThisisMoney, 9 June 2021

Liz Truss is wrong to paint Australian trade concerns as SNP grievanceThe National, 7 June 2021

UK looks to seal Australia trade deal after G7Financial Times, 2 June 2021

A tenth of British exports to the EU have faced tariffs since the start of 2021, new research finds, Institute of Export & International Trade, 1 June 2021

British exports worth billions have faced EU tariffs since BrexitBBC News, 28 May 2021

UK seeks ambitious trade deal to prise open protectionist Indian economyThe Telegraph, 25 May 2021

Times letters: Proposed tariff-free Australian trade dealThe Times, 21 May 2021

U.K. Goods Trade Crawls Back Amid Brexit Slump, Pandemic TurmoilBloomberg, 12 May 2021

UK’s services sector starts to count the real cost of BrexitFinancial Times, 10 May 2021

Brexit: European Parliament backs UK trade dealBBC News, 28 April 2021

Joe Biden ‘more interested’ in joining CPTPP than trade deal with Brexit Britain, The Express, 27 April 2021

Britânicos seguem empacados nos problemas do Brexit, Veja, 23 April 2021

Freeports aren’t about ‘levelling up’ – they’re a cover for tax cuts and deregulation, iNews, 22 April 2021

Brexit: UK-EU level playing field provisions ‘the most extensive’ of any trade agreement, Yahoo Finance, 22 April 2021

Long read: The beginner’s guide to freeportsPublic Finance, 22 April 2021

Trade benefits of UK freeports “limited”, says parliamentary committeeGlobal Trade Review, 20 April 2021

UK MPs and business figures seek to improve Brexit trade dealFinancial Times, 12 April 2021

Newport seeking freeport statusBusiness Live, 12 April 2021

100 Days later, Brexit isn’t working and business wants it fixedErie News Now, 12 April 2021

Verschärfte Kontrollen nach Brexit verschobenORF TV, 6 April 2021

Japanese companies still gauging future of post-Brexit U.K.Japan Times, 25 March 2021

Can freeports really revitalise the UK economy? Prospect, 22 March 2021

The UK’s independent trade strategy: US, Asia, or the EU? Trade Finance Global, 16 March 2021

Freeports will open up another gap in Britain’s already over-stretched defences against economic crimePolitics Home, 10 March 2021

Freeports, BBC Politics South, 7 March 2021 (starts approx. 7 mins)

Rishi Sunak’s plans for Darlington and TeessideThe Economist, 6 March 2021

Peter Holmes on FreeportsBBC Radio Cornwall, 3 March 2021 (starts approx. 47:40)

Interview with Peter Holmes about FreeportsTimes Radio, 2 March 2021 (starts approx. 01:35:35)

A freeport for Poole: Free trade or free ride? West Country Bylines, 2 March 2021

Britain’s climate dilemma as it navigates post-Brexit tradePolitico, 28 February 2021

“Game changing” plans to bring a freeport to Teesside submitted to governmentITV news, 8 February 2021

Peter Holmes on FreeportsBreakfast on BBC Radio Gloucestershire, 5 February 2021 (starts approx. 2:24:16)

Rishi Sunak’s free ports are no silver bullet for our economyLabour List, 4 February 2021

Dog food manufacturers among few to benefit from freeports, claims LabourThe Mirror, 3 February 2021

Why Britain wants to join a Pacific trade dealThe Telegraph, 1 February 2021

UK to apply for TPP membership Monday for ‘bridge’ to AsiaNikkei Asia, 31 January 2021

UK-EU trade tariffs after Brexit: what businesses need to knowThe Telegraph, 31 January 2021

5 things to expect from Joe Biden on UK tradePolitico, 20 January 2021

‘Big loss’ for Britain as EU trade deal exposes some UK cars to tariffsYahoo! Finance, 20 January 2021

The idea of buccaneering Britain was appealing but the reality is differentThe Times, 19 January 2021

EU invited to join CPTPP as rug pulled from under Boris Johnson’s Brexit dreamThe Express, 14 January 2021

Brexit uncertainty halts animal feed suppliesFarmers Weekly, 13 January 2021

Joe Biden pressured by allies to ‘get trade deal with EU before UK’ amid Brexit rowThe Express, 13 January 2021

Trade preferences need predictability, Vox EU, 11 January 2021

US Ambassador says Britain will win post-Brexit ‘prizes’ – hints ‘major’ US-UK trade dealThe Express, 6 January 2021

How FDI responds to non-trade provisions in preferential trade agreements, Vox EU, 5 January 2021

The joint effect of private and public environmental regulation on emissions, Vox EU, 3 January 2021


2020

Will London lose its clout? BFM, 31 December 2020

Journal 20h00France 2, 25 December 2020 (starts approx. 15:55)

EU ‘fearing NEW rival trade bloc with Britain, US and Australia’, The Express, 17 December 2020

UK exports lag behind rivals amid Brexit and Covid uncertainty, Financial Times, 16 December 2020

Brexit deadlock between UK and EU ‘very strange’ – Boris ‘not telling us something’, The Express, 15 December 2020

Call You & Yours – How ready are you for Brexit?, BBC Radio 4, 15 December 2020

Boris Johnson crushed as 2021 deadline for US-UK trade deal ‘will NOT be met’, The Express, 11 December 2020

Cost of living gains from Brexit trade deals illusory, say experts, The Independent, 9 December 2020

Brexit fishing fury as Nicola Sturgeon ‘set to take away UK waters after Indyref2’, The Express, 9 December 2020

Times letters: the search for a deal in Brexit trade talks, The Times, 9 December 2020

The year of coronavirus has helped China close the gap on America, The Times, 5 December 2020

Boris Johnson set to secure critical agreement with Switzerland as EU talks on brink, The Express, 3 December 2020

Switzerland strikes post-Brexit business travel deal, The Telegraph, 3 December 2020

Podcast | What’s going on with Brexit? Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2 December 2020

Is the UK’s trade deal with Japan better than the EU’s? Full Fact, 30 November 2020

The Food Programme: What’s the deal with “chlorinated chicken”? BBC Radio 4, 23 November 2020

Will Freeports turbo charge the economy? Breakfast on BBC Radio Cumbria, 18 November 2020 (start approx. 2:07:19)

Freeports are economically trivial and politically expensiveFinancial Times, 19 November 2020

Ghana loses faith on UK trade deal, The Telegraph, 15 November 2020

Brexit: UK firms face £80bn trade hit due to government failure to roll over EU deals, The Independent, 13 November 2020

Cost of living gains from Brexit trade deals illusory, say experts, The Independent, 11 November 2020

The freeport con, New Statesman, 10 November 2020

Brexit: Liz Truss secures tariff wins with her Japan trade deal – for products UK doesn’t export, The Independent, 8 November 2020

Searching for value in the Japan–UK trade agreement, East Asia Forum, 3 November 2020

The Japan-UK Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) – Running To Stand Still Or Stepping Stone? Trade Knowledge Exchange, 27 October 2020

Britain and Japan sign post-Brexit trade dealBBC News, 23 October 2020

Cheese seals the deal as UK and Japan sign ‘historic’ trade pactPolitico, 23 October 2020

UK Conservatives ponder global trade rebootPolitico, 22 October 2020

Farming Today: WTO trade rules, feathers for insulation, migrating wild birds and record breaking sheepdogs, BBC Radio 4, 20 October 2020 (starts approx. 07:20)

Hope for low-standard import ban boosted as expert claims it would be WTO compliant, Farmers Guardian, 18 October 2020

Covid 19 highlights need to update pharma supply chains, Chemistry World, 15 October 2020

Brexit will harm trade with the poorest countries, research shows, devex, 14 October 2020

Brexit: Expert reveals chances of getting a deal, Daily Express, 30 September 2020

Quest for trade deals takes Britain into turbulent seasThe Telegraph, 22 September 2020

Angela Merkel issues subtle message to UK with latest no deal warning – ‘Prepare and plan’, The Daily Express, 19 September 2020

Boris Johnson reassured Brexit U-turn to have no ‘long-lasting’ impact on UK reputation, The Daily Express, 13 September 2020

Britain is risking a car-crash Brexit of food shortages, another recession and isolation, CNN Business, 12 September 2020

Badgers, Brexit and a deal for dairy, Farmers Weekly Podcast, 11 September 2020 (starts approx. 2:50)

5 things to know about the UK-Japan trade deal, Politico, 11 September 2020

Britain clinches first major trade deal since leaving the EU, CNN Business, 11 September 2020

Westminster Hour – FreeportsBBC Radio 4, 6 September 2020 (starts approx. 45:00)

Brexit breakthrough: UK set to finalise new trade deal with Japan as soon as NEXT WEEKThe Daily Express, 5 September 2020

Government’s post-Brexit ‘freeport’ scheme tipped to make ‘no material effect’ on UK economyThe New European, 3 August 2020

Rishi Sunak’s freeports plan could hand vital boost to critical UK sector after BrexitThe Express, 3 August 2020

Freeport advantages for business are ‘almost non-existent’Financial Times, 2 August 2020

Mini Cooper Drivers May Face Mighty Shock of New Brexit RulesBloomberg, 30 July 2020

Johnson accused of post-Brexit attack on devolutionChannel 4 News, 22 July 2020

POLITICO Pro Morning Trade UK, Politico, 17 July 2020

Freeports plan will have ‘negligible’ benefit to UK economy, trade experts warnThe Independent, 15 July 2020

Business and politicians wary of UK plan for low-tax trade zonesFinancial Times, 12 July 2020

U.K.’s Global Trade Deals Still Pose a Huge Pre-Brexit ChallengeYahoo! Finance, 7 July 2020

Brexit: Cars produced in Japan to be stamped ‘Made in Britain’ under Boris Johnson’s plansThe Independent, 3 July 2020

DIT to review its trade modelling to strengthen the UK’s hand in future deal negotiationsInstitute of Export & International Trade, 2 July 2020

Quel avenir pour les relations commerciales entre le Royaume-Uni et la Chine? CGTN Francais, 27 June 2020

Brexit trade talks: Clock ticking on promise of global BritainThe Times, 15 June 2020

Boris Johnson faces losing billions if he bans Huawei in the UKThe Telegraph, 13 June 2020

Food standards and ginFarmers Weekly Podcast, 12 June 2020 (starts approx. 03:50)

Brexit: UK borders still not ready for leaving single market at end of year, MPs toldThe Independent, 10 June 2020

A new trade bargain can secure the supplies we need to fight next waveThe Telegraph, 10 June 2020

The UK and EU are facing the most extreme version of Brexit, Financial Times, 7 June 2020

Brexit: Businesses told to expect more bureaucracy and additional costs from January, Irish Times, 5 June 2020

No-deal Brexit holds fewer fears for a Covid-ravaged economyFinancial Times, 4 June 2020

No-Deal Brexit Threat Looms Over Pandemic-Ravaged U.K.Bloomberg, 2 June 2020

Coronavirus and Brexit are a poisonous combination for UK businessFinancial Times, 2 June 2020

Nuts, bolts and bay leaves: UK trade after Brexit, Financial Times, 22 May 2020

London soll zum Singapur an der Themse werdenWirtschafts Woche, 10 May 2020

Britain walks a tightrope in opening trade talks with ChinaThe Telegraph, 5 May 2020

Globalization is Down but Not Out Yet, Wall Street Journal, 28 April 2020

PPE hoarding and lessons from the 2007 food crisisFinancial Times, 27 April 2020

‘Global Britain’ dream threatened by virus nightmare, The Telegraph, 5 April 2020

Coronavirus: Lack of workers ‘could create food shortages’, Brighton Argus, 30 March 2020

The battle to keep supply chains rolling, Financial Times, 26 March 2020

British economy ‘to grow 0.16% at best under US trade dealThe Guardian, 2 March 2020

Inside Business – UK – EU Trade, BBC Sounds, 29 February 2020

UK., EU Gear Up for Thorny Post-Brexit Negotiations, Wall Street Journal, 27 February 2020

Boris Johnson’s Freeport Idea Is Full of Holes, Yahoo! Finance, 26 February 2020

Brexit Britain’s freeport utopia isn’t about free trade, or portsWired, 25 February 2020

Sunak gets ready to do a reverse OsborneThe Sunday Times, 23 February 2020

Brexit: How do you negotiate a trade agreement?BBC News, 21 February 2020

BBC Politics South East – Free Ports Boost or Bust? BBC One South East, 17 February 2020 (starts approx. 21:05)

Brexit: Ministers refuse to release secret studies believed to show little gain from trade deals with US and Asia, The Independent, 15 February 2020

How would free ports work in the UK? The Times, 10 February 2020

EU clamps down on free ports over crime and terrorism links, The Guardian, 10 February 2020

UK faces long road in ‘ambitious’ post-Brexit trade push into AsiaNikkei Asian Review, 6 February 2020

Where a Brexit Trade Deal Matters Most to Boris JohnsonBloomberg, 4 February 2020

Brexit and Fishing RightsBBC Politics South East, 2 February 2020 (starts approx. 9 mins)

Post-Brexit Britain may find trade deals hard to negotiateThe Economist, 1 February 2020

Brexit is here. What’s next for fashion?Vogue Business, 31 January 2020

Interview: Checks in Irish Sea might make Northern Ireland “unattractive” for tradeXinhua News, 30 January 2020

What is a free port?Port Technology, 30 January 2020

UK to outpace Europe in trade growth this year, US seen as top market for SMEsGlobal Trade Review, 22 January 2020

Britain languishes behind EU in battle for African tradeFinancial Times, 20 January 2020

Boris Johnson’s £60bn services deal dilemmaFinancial Times, 13 January 2020

Government free port plans are pointless says Sussex expertThe Argus, 3 January 2020


2019

Can new free trade deals compensate for the loss of frictionless trade with the EU? BBC Newsnight, 11 December 2019 (starts approx. 5:30)

Brexit: Free trade deals ‘won’t offset leaving EU’, BBC News, 11 December 2019

Boris Johnson misleading public over impact of his ‘unlawful’ Brexit deal, trade experts warn, The Independent, 10 December 2019

Study says US trade deal is risk to Union, The Times, 10 December 2019

Boris Johnson under scrutiny over Irish Sea border claims, Financial Times, 9 December 2019

NHS data is a goldmine. It must be saved from big tech, The Guardian, 9 December 2019

US could get access to UK health data, experts warnThe BMJ, 7 December 2019

The truth about whether Boris Johnson is misleading voters over his Brexit dealThe Independent, 6 December 2019

Unrealistic election pledges will leave the UK disappointedFinancial Times, 5 December 2019

Professor L. Alan Winters on the Brexit timelines of the Conservatives and LabourBBC News at 10, 4 December 2019 (starts approx. 22 mins)

US tech firms want access to £10bn NHS health dataThe Times, 2 December 2019

Tories claim Brexit deal would not mean Irish sea admin – but expert says that’s wrong, News Letter, 28 November 2019

Boris Johnson’s ‘arbitrary’ Brexit deadline will damage UK economy, say trade experts, The Telegraph, 27 November 2019

‘That’s completely wrong’: Michael Gove falsely claims EU has no single market for services, The Independent, 26 November 2019

Brexit: Tariffs on 60% of goods entering NI from GBBBC News, 16 November 2019

Brexit ‘could mean border checks between England, Scotland and Wales’The Independent, 5 November 2019

Post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland may survive systemic abuseFinancial Times, 31 October 2019

What does Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal mean for UK business? The Telegraph, 17 October 2019

This deal doesn’t get Brexit done – it’s just the end of the beginningThe Telegraph, 17 October 2019

Prof L. Alan Winters on the Prime Minister’s proposal for Northern IrelandtalkRADIO, 6 October 2019 (starts approx. 11:33am)

What one day’s imports and exports tell us about Britain’s trade with the worldiNews, 29 September 2019

Brexit threatens food regulations, The Ecologist, 11 September 2019

Govt has ‘clear path’ to water down food regulation, experts warn, Farming UK, 11 September 2018

Would free ports help a post-Brexit Britain? Raconteur, 9 September 2019

How the devaluation of the pound has affected British business – for better and for worse, The Telegraph, 8 September 2019

The EU has signed trade deals covering half a billion civilians since Brexit, The London Economic, 26 August 2019

Germany Has Told Britain Its Food Producers Might Not Bother Exporting To It After A No-Deal Brexit, Buzzfeed, 22 August 2019

Brexit has chilling effect on UK inward investment, Financial Times, 21 August 2019

Lidl lines up suppliers to cover no-deal costs, BBC News, 18 August 2019

Nearly 1,000 jobs are on the line in Inverclyde if there is a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, Greenock Telegraph, 16 August 2019

‘No deal’ could cost 1,100 West Fife jobs says MP, Dunfermline Press, 15 August 2019

How a no-deal Brexit threatens your weekly food shop, The Guardian, 13 August 2019

As the U.S.-China trade war rages, an even bigger battle with Europe is brewing, Marketplace, 12 August 2019

What free ports can and can’t achieve, The Economist, 8 August 2019

As UK accelerates post-Brexit freeport plans, Truss takes lessons from U.S., Reuters, 8 August 2019

The UK food industry wants a pause in antitrust law to tackle Brexit food shortages, CNBC, 7 August 2019

Good Morning Scotland – UK-US Trade Deal, BBC Radio Scotland, (starts approx. 2:09:30), 6 August 2019

UK hopes for quick US trade deal are pie in Brexit sky, The Irish Times, 2 August 2019

UK plans to create up to 10 freeports to boost post-Brexit trade, Reuters, 1 August 2019

From ‘Blade Runner’ to Brexit in England’s industrial north, Politico, 1 August 2019

The Today Programme – Post-Brexit Free Ports, BBC Radio 4, (starts approx. 49mins) 1 August 2019

Good Morning Scotland – No deal and the backstop, BBC Radio Scotland, (starts approx. 1hr 40mins), 30 July 2019

Deadlock on Brexit may mean economy is already in recession, top forecaster warns, The Telegraph, 22 July 2019

UKTPO Report Outlines Trade Winners & Losers, Bloomberg, 18 July 2019

No-deal Brexit will cost £22bn a year to compensate businesses, landmark analysis reveals, The Independent, 14 July 2019

Brexit will decimate UK services exports – but remarkably clueless politicians would rather remain silent, The Independent, 8 July 2019

Will Boris Johnson’s free-trade zones actually boost the economy post-Brexit?The Independent, 7 July 2019

What is a free port? All you need to know about the free-trade zonesThe Guardian, 6 July 2019

Experts sceptical on Johnson’s plans for regional freeportsFinancial Times, 5 July 2019

What are ‘free ports’ and would they boost post-Brexit trade?The Week, 2 July 2019

An economist’s view on key Brexit claims, The Times, 26 June 2019

UK accused of ‘silently eroding’ EU pesticide rules in Brexit laws, The Guardian, 12 June 2019

Interview: U.S.-UK trade deal unlikely to happen in foreseeable future: expert, Xinhua News, 11 June 2019

South Korea agrees deal with UK for post-Brexit trade, Financial Times, 10 June 2019

Brexit uncertainty drives investment boost for other EU countries, Financial Times, 10 June 2019

Experts are sceptical about a UK-US trade deal amid Brexit and China uncertainty, The National, 6 June 2019

Would a trade deal with Trump boost Brexit Britain? Financial Times, 4 June 2019

UK hopes trade deal with US could soften Brexit blow, Deutsche Welle, 4 June 2019

The maths of a trade deal with Trump do not add up, The Telegraph, 3 June 2019

Turkey shows Britain that a customs union can hurt, Politico, 16 May 2019

Researchers fear ‘watered down’ UK pesticide legislation, Farming UK, 15 May 2019

The future of Britain’s automotive industry, Prospect Magazine, 14 May 2019

How is Brexit affecting FDI into Britain? The Economist, 9 May 2019

BREXIT BOMBSHELL: Brussels now MORE committed to EU exit than UK – claims lawyer, The Express, 4 May 2019

Why May’s and Corbyn’s Brexit plans could harm UK citiesYahoo! Finance, 22 April 2019

We must not compromise on our free market after Brexit divorce, The Telegraph, 7 April 2019

May’s deal has sacrificed services as price of ending free movement, The Times, 4 April 2019

May-Corbyn customs union is constitutional nonsense and a total victory for Brussels, The Telegraph, 3 April 2019

What is the trade advantage of being in a customs union with the EU? BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, 2 April 2019 (Starts 23.26)

Are the new trade deals quite what they seem? Newsnight, 28 March 2019 (starts 25.30)

Brexit: Rolled-over UK free trade deals ‘are incomplete’, BBC News, 28 March 2019

EU warns no-deal Brexit is ‘increasingly likely’, Financial Times, 25 March 2019

No-deal Brexit ‘to send exports tumbling by 20%’, says Sussex University’s UK Trade Policy Observatory, The Sunday Times, 24 March 2019

Uncle Sam’s trade deals are a game of chicken, The Sunday Times, 17 March 2019

Promises of new trade freedoms after Brexit are unlikely to be met, The Times, 16 March 2019

Most imports tariff-free under no-deal plan, BBC News, 13 March 2019

U.K. puts forward trade plans for no-deal Brexit, Global News, 13 March 2019

Britain’s trade gap widens as exports to EU fall, City A.M., 12 March 2019

Slashing Tariffs Won’t Redeem a No-Deal Brexit, Bloomberg, 9 March 2019

No-deal Brexit would take back control and hand it to Trump, experts say, The Independent, 6 March 2019

EU and U.S. officials meet to talk trade, Marketplace Podcast, 5 March 2019

How would a no-deal Brexit affect the UK economy? Financial Times, 4 March 2019

What could happen to food prices after Brexit? BBC News, 1 March 2019

How Brexit Could Damage Asian And African Economies, Global Finance, 1 March 2019

Free ports would deliver ‘limited’ economic boost to Grimsby, say economists, Grimsby Telegraph, 1 March 2019

After a no-deal Brexit, should Britain abolish all tariffs? The Economist, 28 February 2019

Honda, Brexit and the collapse of Japan’s love affair with the UK, Wired, 24 February 2019

‘Taking back control’ of UK agriculture clearly includes the right to be stupid, Financial Times, 21 February 2019

Honda to Shut Plant in Brexit-Shaken Britain, The New York Times, 19 February 2019

Honda’s U.K. plant closure adds to rising Brexit worries, CBS News, 19 February 2019

Honda to Shut Plant in Brexit-Shaken Britain, The Washington Post, 19 February 2019

Honda’s announcement that it will close its Swindon plant in 2021, BBC Radio Ulster (starts at 52.50 mins) 19 February 2019

Honda’s announcement that it will close its Swindon plant in 2021, BBC Radio Foyle (starts at 1hr 48) 19 February 2019

Brexit: What trade deals has the UK done so far?BBC News, 14 February 2019

Brexit: This is how many people could lose their jobs in each area of Coventry and Warwickshire, Coventry Telegraph, 13 February 2019

What are WTO terms and how will they affect the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit? ITV news, 11 February 2019

Stephen Morgan: Getting Brexit right for Portsmouth International Port is vital, The House, 5 February 2019

How can the UK continue trading on current terms with third countries covered by EU trade deals? The Independent, 3 February 2019

What are World Trade Organisation terms and what exactly do they mean? The Independent, 29 January 2019

Brexit: How many trade deals has the UK done? BBC News, 25 January 2019

It’s a Cruel World for U.K. Companies Weighing No-Deal Brexit, Bloomberg, 25 January 2019

How badly could Brexit disrupt agricultural exports from Northern Ireland? The Independent, 22 January 2019

Dani Garavelli: Like a mob ready to take to the streets if thwarted, The Scotsman, 19 January 2019

How to run a new Brexit referendum and disappoint everyone, The Economist, 16 January 2019

Britons Most at Risk in a Messy Split From EU Are Least Worried, The Wall Street Journal, 13 January 2019


2018

2017

2016

December 15th, 2016

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