An agenda for post-Brexit free trade agreements

The UK’s largest net-exporting industry has published a detailed discussion paper outlining the key elements of the future UK-EU trading relationship which will require input or action from the financial and related professional services industry as negotiations progress.

TheCityUK and DLA Piper paper, ‘A UK-EU association agreement and future UK free trade agreements’ looks at what a deal based on the government’s Brexit White Paper will mean for the broader interests of the industry. In addition to trade and investment policy issues, areas examined include: the mobility framework, digital and data, security partnership, cross-cutting and other cooperation, and institutional arrangements.

The paper also looks beyond the UK/EU agreement and considers how any final Brexit deal may influence future UK trading relationships with other partners.

Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK, said,

Our industry nets the largest trade surplus – £80.5bn in 2016 – and is the country’s biggest net-exporting industry. Therefore it’s vital to consider all impacts of future trading arrangements, both with the EU and globally. Our international trading partners will also look to the UK-EU agreement as a factor in assessing their own future trading relationships with the UK.

“Trade deals typically include services, but often not to the degree or extent the industry wants. Given the strength of our services-led economy, the UK-EU agreement presents an important opportunity to address these issues in far greater depth than ever before. The industry is committed to playing its part in being both practical and creative in developing ways to move forward.”

Andrew Darwin, Global Co-Chairman, DLA Piper, said,

Since the referendum the industry has rightly focused its attention on those issues which have the most immediate and direct impact on financial and related professional services. However, the industry should not lose sight of the broader implications of the UK-EU future relationship and how these may affect current business models or other future trade relationships. It is more important than ever to have a strong understanding of which areas will be covered by such an agreement, and critically, which will not.”

TheCityUK / DLA Piper paper is a continuation of TheCityUK’s ongoing work to identify the critical areas for consideration in the Brexit negotiations and their bearing on the longer term interests of the financial and related professional services industry.