Trade Policy Under Brexit
The question is whether the new bilateralism is able to bring about the creation of new jobs and also to lower levels of migration commensurate with the promises made on the political level. [THERESA MAY]
And, as we leave the European Union, the UK will continue to be a global advocate of free trade, pushing for progress on WTO discussions, seeking to bring new partners to the table and, of course, after we have left the EU, developing new bilateral deals with countries across the world. [THOMAS COTTIER]
It seems that the trade policy developed under Brexit — putting a lot of emphasis on bilateral agreements — is not sufficiently reflecting the nature of international trade today, as being a trade largely of components, of global value chains and of an increasing amalgamation of goods and services in very complex structures, and bilateral agreements are not able to address these very complex structures and lead to more trade facilitation. What happens in reality is that larger markets tend to impose their own regulatory schemes on smaller trading nations. So, in the relation between the EU, which is a large part of UK trade, we have to assume that the UK will continue to adjust to EU standards. In trade with the United States, they will adjust to US standards and in the future, in trade market access with China and Asia,
they will have to adjust to Asian standards. So British producers will find themselves in the position that they have to respond and respect different standards for different export markets, which renders industry and industrial production, and also the provision of services, more expensive and less competitive. So, the question is whether the goal aspired can be achieved through these policies of bilateralism and my view is that tragically this will not be the case and people hoping that bilateral agreements will improve their lives will be frustrated and disappointed. [NARRATOR]
Trade Policy is just one of many topics covered within Complexity’s Embrace. This book looks at the legal governance challenges presented by the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union and illustrates the many connective elements across all five topic areas.