Brexit Free Trade Agreements: What You Need to Know

The term «Brexit» has been in the news for years now, and it`s hard to escape discussion of the UK`s departure from the European Union. One of the biggest concerns surrounding Brexit is how it will affect trade agreements between the UK and other countries, particularly the EU.

Free trade agreements, or FTAs, are contracts that allow for the free trade of goods and services between countries. They can be bilateral, between two countries, or multilateral, involving several countries. FTAs remove trade barriers, such as tariffs and quotas, and aim to increase economic growth and competitiveness.

The UK has been a member of the EU`s single market and customs union since it joined the bloc in 1973. This meant that there were no tariffs or barriers to trade between the UK and other EU member states. After Brexit, the UK lost access to the single market and customs union, which means that new trade agreements need to be negotiated.

The UK has been actively negotiating new FTAs with several countries, both inside and outside the EU. Some of the agreements already in place include the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, the UK-Switzerland Agreement on Citizens` Rights, and the UK-Morocco Association Agreement.

The biggest challenge facing the UK is negotiating a new FTA with the EU. The two sides have been locked in negotiations since 2016, with a transition period in place until the end of 2020. If no agreement is reached by then, the UK will trade with the EU under World Trade Organization rules, which means the imposition of tariffs and other trade barriers.

The UK and EU`s respective positions on the negotiations are complex. The EU has insisted on a «level playing field» in terms of regulations, state aid, and workers` rights, while the UK has sought greater freedom to diverge from EU rules. There are also disagreements on fisheries, security, and the role of the European Court of Justice.

The UK has also expressed interest in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a free trade agreement between 11 Pacific Rim countries. Joining the CPTPP could provide new trade opportunities for the UK, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

In conclusion, Brexit has certainly created uncertainty for the UK`s trade agreements, but the government has been active in negotiating new FTAs with countries around the world. The biggest challenge remains reaching a suitable agreement with the EU, but there are also opportunities for the UK to expand its trade globally. As always, it`s important to keep up to date with the latest news and developments in this rapidly evolving field.