Britain In The World
Away from the fraught endgame of the Brexit negotiations, there has been positive news in UK trade in the last few weeks. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss added to the growing portfolio of UK trade agreements by securing a deal with Mexico on 15 December, following similar deals with Singapore and Vietnam last week.
Policy Exchange’s Indo-Pacific Commission published its interim report on 22 November, arguing that the Indo-Pacific is the most important region for expanding UK trade after Brexit. This comes shortly after the recent agreement between fifteen countries in the region to form the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – the world’s largest trade bloc when measured by population and GDP. So what is RCEP, and what does the new bloc mean for the Indo-Pacific region and the UK’s strategic approach to it?
The Department for International Trade (DIT) has announced that the UK has concluded a historic new free trade agreement with Japan, the UK’s first major trade deal post-Brexit. The agreement is an important step towards the UK’s ambition to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Later this month, the UK and the US will conduct the third round of talks on a new trade agreement. The successful conclusion of a deal with the US will be challenging but would provide a major strategic prize for the UK, as I explain in a new report for Policy Exchange released today, “The art of a UK-US trade deal”. The paper looks at the challenges and opportunities facing negotiators over the coming months.
The Government this week published a Command Paper, setting out its approach to implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol in the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement.
The Protocol gives Northern Ireland a special economic status – within the UK’s customs territory, but in regulatory alignment with the EU single market for goods. The Protocol also requires provisions to be put in place to ensure that goods “at risk” of entering the EU single market via the land border with the Republic of Ireland are subject to the correct checks and controls. The continuation of the Protocol is subject to the ongoing consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly after four years.
Since the UK formally left the EU two weeks ago, the two sides have been gearing up for negotiations on the future relationship. The EU is still finalising its mandate, with the European Parliament and member states pushing for a tougher stance than the European Commission’s draft. The Prime Minister set out the UK’s position in his Greenwich speech earlier this mont
Net Assessment is a tremendous opportunity for a strategic renaissance – we must get it right from the beginning
Policy Exchange’s senior defence fellow, Gabriel Elefteriu, reflects on the Government’s decision to build a spaceport in Scotland. He argues the decision is an important step on on the UK’s journey to become a leader in space industry.
Britain’s industry-led space policy “model” has been a resounding success. But can it survive the fierce competition of the new space race?
The UK has made significant progress developing its approach to space, including the passage of the recent Space Bill and announcement of the Space Strategy, argues Policy Exchange’s Senior Research Fellow for Defence Gabriel Elefteriu. Discussing the event held at Policy Exchange to explore these issues, Gabriel argues that more will be required if the UK is to fully take advantage of the opportunities offered by this new frontier.
Does the presence of an Indian Prime Minister after several years of absence, Brexit and a return to great power politics offer a new role for the Commonwealth?