EU trade agreements after Brexit examined

15 November 2017

The International Trade Committee holds the first session of its inquiry into the continuing application of EU trade agreements after Brexit. The session looks at possible legal and technical mechanisms whereby the UK might be able to achieve replication of the EU’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).


Wednesday 15 November, Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster

At 10.00am

  • Philippe De Baere (International Trade Lawyer, Van Bael & Bellis)
  • Andrew Hood (Barrister and EU Law Expert, Dechert)

At 11.00am

  • Dr Michael Gasiorek (Economist, UK Trade Policy Observatory, University of Sussex)

Purpose of the session

In total, the EU is party to 36 regional or bilateral FTAs, covering more than 60 countries. Of the UK’s top 50 export markets for goods in 2015, 10 are covered by EU trade agreements which the UK will cease to be a party to after Brexit.

The Government has stated that it intends to maintain the current position by replicating the rights that the UK presently enjoys under these agreements. The Department for International Trade has said this is its second priority after establishing the UK’s position at the World Trade Organisation. 

As well as looking at the legal and technical aspects of the Government’s intention, the Committee will also hear from witnesses on the implications of the EU’s current position on the sequencing of the Brexit negotiations (which states that while the UK remains a Member State it cannot negotiate or conclude any trade agreement with a third country), the extent and nature of EU FTAs, and what allowances the recently-presented Trade Bill makes for the implementation of ‘grandfathered’ agreements.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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