08 Apr Brexit And Preferential Trade Agreements
The European Commission reports annually on the implementation of its main trade agreements in the previous calendar year. The EU has trade agreements with these countries/regions, but both sides are now negotiating an update. However, in the short term, after the end of the transitional period, it will be difficult to maintain the existing preferential access for UK exports to third countries. It is likely that some access to trade will be lost and that another access will only be reached late. A free trade agreement aims to promote trade – usually with goods, but also sometimes with services – by making it cheaper. This is often achieved by reducing or eliminating so-called tariffs – taxes or taxes on cross-border trade. The government issued a technical opinion on existing trade agreements in the absence of an agreement in October 2018. If there were no replacement agreements on the withdrawal date, the terms of the World Trade Organization (WTO) would apply to the most favoured nation (MFN), with all WTO members having to have the same tariffs applied in the absence of a free trade agreement. Even if a trade agreement is reached, all new controls will not be removed, as the EU requires that certain products (such as food) from third countries be checked.
Businesses need to be prepared. 250.The Government Green Paper, Building our industrial strategy, listed Canada, China, India, Mexico, Singapore and South Korea as countries interested in the debate on future trade relations with the UK.450 On 1 January 2017, Rt Hon Liam Fox MP wrote in the Daily Telegraph that Britain “conducts audits trade with a number of countries to see how we can remove barriers to trade and investment.451 Lord Price said that “trade audits” were discussions about trade barriers that could include customs agreements or access to certain sectors.452 This is not new: “For the In 453 trade audits took place at the “more formal level” , while working groups wanted to “examine how to continue to trade with these countries in a post-Brexit world.”454 The Prime Minister had announced “a working group with China and high-level discussions with the United States [on trade]455 Overall, the UK is currently present with 15 countries on post-Brexit trade relations. entertain. Some of these countries “do not have trade agreements with the EU, but many of them do.”456 A report published in the Financial Times in May 2017 suggests that there are 759 separate eu-EU international agreements that could affect the UK. These include trade, regulatory cooperation, fisheries, agriculture, nuclear cooperation and cooperation in transport (including aviation).