Transition Period and New Agreement

Withdrawal and Transition The UK formally ceased to be a member of the European Union at 11 PM on 31 January 2020.The possibility of a second vote to remain no longer applies. It may not re-join without a political decision to do so followed by the completion of the long accession procedure provided for in […]

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EU UK Political Declaration

Future Relationship Declaration The EU UK Withdrawal Agreement was accompanied by a political declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the UK. It is not binding in international law. It is a declaration of intention also. The Boris Johnson government made some very critical changes to the Withdrawal Agreement […]

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Minimal or No Agreement Likely in 2020

The Trade Possibilities Worldwide, international trade is based on treaties between states or blocs of states. The treaties define the extent to which the countries concerned have access to each other’s market and the terms on which their citizens and businesses trade with each other. The EU has a common commercial trade policy. Trade is […]

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Pre-Agreed Issues NI Citizens & Money

Northern Ireland Regardless or not of whether there is a new future relationship agreement ready to take effect, the Northern Ireland Protocol is to commence at the end of the transitional period. It is to last for an initial period of four years. This may be extended every four years by democratic consent in Northern […]

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Trade Barriers Inevitable

Partnership / Comprehensive Trade Agreement Perhaps the most likely medium to long term outcome of Brexit is that there will be a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The agreement is likely to go further than previous agreements entered by the European Union to provide for regulatory […]

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WTO Framework for Goods

World Trade Organisation The basic terms of trade worldwide are set by the World Trade Organisation under its key multilateral agreements. The World Trade Organisation like the United Nations and IMF is an international body which was established after World War II to set the ground rules for international trade. It also provides the institutions […]

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WTO Framework for Services

GATS The 1990s saw the first general multilateral agreement of trade in services at the WTO level (GATS). This agreement is much less developed, less extensive and much more conditional than the (GATT) agreement on goods. Unlike the rapid development of the agreements in goods between the 1940s and 1990s gradually eliminating most tariffs, there […]

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UK’s WTO No Agreement Default

General WTO Agreements After Brexit, the UK must re-establish its membership of the WTO on a stand-alone basis. At present, the UK is a party but for most trade purposes, the UK has participated through the European Union. The WTO agreements involve general obligations and specific commitments. Some of the general principles are mentioned above. […]

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LPF Principles and Precedents

EU Guidelines The EU’s negotiation slides in relation to level playing field requirements refer to the EU Council’s guidelines of 2017 2018 and its conclusions of December 2019. The fundamental principle is that any agreement with the UK must be based on a balance of rights and obligations and ensure a level playing field. There […]

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LPF EU Objectives

Competition state-owned industries The EU negotiation directives state that the EU UK partnership should ensure the application of EU state rules to the United Kingdom. For aid affecting trade between Great Britain and the EU, the UK should set up an independent and adequately resourced enforcement authority with effective powers to apply the rules should […]

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Level Playing Field Issues

General Issues The European Union is seeking level playing field rules in the EU UK trade/future relationship agreement. They apply to state aid rules which are those which define the extent to which a state may subsidise private industry. They also seek to ensure that one state party to a trade agreement does not reduce […]

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Some Parameters

Transition Period The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. However, for a further period scheduled to end on 31 December 2020, the so-called transition period, the EU UK Withdrawal Agreement provides that all European Union rules and rights continue to apply to and in the United Kingdom. During this period, the United Kingdom […]

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EU Approach and Political Declaration

Type of Agreement There might be a thin or barebones agreement waiving tariffs on most or all goods in 2020. This would require the agreement of the EU and the UK. It would not be likely to deal with many crucial issues in particular in many areas of regulation and trade in services. Moreover, the […]

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Bilateral Agreements and WTO

Bilateral Trade Agreements Encouraged Trade under WTO rules would involve import and export customs declarations and customs tariffs in most cases. The EU would apply its third country list of tariffs to the UK. The UK may ultimately apply the same tariffs to the EU but may offer concessionary tariffs for a period. regulations and […]

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