Dr Magdalena Frennhoff Larsén, Lecturer in Politics in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities wrote on the possibilities of a UK-EU free trade agreement and the potential difficulties of negotiating one. 

In the light of the referendum result of 23 June 2016, and the current government’s commitment to trigger Article 50, the mechanism to withdraw from the European Union, in March 2017 the UK will need to renegotiate its trade agreements with the EU in order to secure business and trade deals with our largest trading partner.

Dr Magdalena Frenhoff Larsén describes the possible trade agreements that could be used as models for the UK’s new deal with the EU.

“One option would be for the UK to pursue the so-called Norway model,” writes Dr Frenhoff Larsén, “which provides access to the single market, with its free movement of goods, capital, services and people.

“Another option would be to follow the Turkey model and remain in the customs union. This would allow for free trade between the two parties while the UK would still be able to control EU immigration.”

This option, however, would limit the UK’s ability to create its own trade deals with other countries and businesses. The UK could also, she argues, take the decision to rely solely on World Trade Organisation provisions, offering no preferential access to the EU market.

The preferred option appears to be the negotiation of a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the UK and the EU but she says this “would require time, resources and political will, and it needs to be weighed carefully against the other options.

“The decision about the future relationship between the UK and the EU is of huge significance, and needs to be debated properly both within government and parliament, ideally before the triggering of Article 50.”

Read the full article on Open Democracy.



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