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Brexit – the UK and Free Trade

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Townsend Matthew
Matthew Townsend

Partner

London

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Benson Jonathan
Jonathan Benson

Counsel

London

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dArdenne Tom
Tom d'Ardenne

Senior Associate

London

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Renard Francois
François Renard

Partner

Hong Kong

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01 February 2019

At the heart of what Brexit might mean for businesses will be the terms of trade agreed between the UK and its key trading partners. These will largely define the extent of any barriers facing businesses moving goods, services and capital to and from the UK.

As a member of the EU, the UK benefits from more than fifty Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) which the EU has concluded as part of its Common Commercial Policy. Following Brexit, the UK will either need to preserve the benefit of these agreements or replace them. Similarly, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) framework is likely to play an important role in the UK’s short to medium term trading relationships.

In our paper available under the ‘Read more’ link below, we consider the WTO framework, examining its key principles and concepts, and the role that future FTAs may have.

Now is the time for businesses to assess a range of scenarios dependent on the various potential outcomes of the Brexit negotiations. This should include a worst and best case scenario based on potential terms of trade and the separation of the UK from a vast range of EU regulatory regimes.