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Trade Agreement Continuity

Thursday February 21st, 2019

The United Kingdom already trades with countries all over the world and will continue to do so regardless of whether the UK is to leave the European Union with a deal or not.Government Opportunities (GO)

Nearly half of UK trade is with the EU and a further 11% of UK trade is covered by the existing EU trade agreements UK is looking to continue as bilateral deals after UK leaves the EU: the 20 smallest of these agreements account for just 0.8% of UK trade. The remaining 40% of trade takes place with other countries.

The best way to avoid any disruption to trade after ‘Brexit’ is to leave the EU with a deal. This can secure trade with the EU and trade with countries covered by the existing EU trade agreements. This is because leaving the EU with a deal will ensure UK businesses can continue to trade with the whole world on the same terms as they do for the implementation period.

However, it is only responsible for Government to prepare for all eventualities. That’s why the Department for International Trade is continuing to work with countries to transition the existing EU trade agreements which the UK participates in as a member of the EU, in the event of a ‘no deal’ to avoid disruption for businesses.

UK has already secured agreements with countries that account for more than a quarter of UK trade covered by these agreements. This includes signing agreements with Switzerland, which is worth over 20% in terms of value of these agreements, as well as Chile, the Faroe Islands, Eastern and Southern Africa, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The UK has also signed Mutual Recognition Agreements with the United States of America, Australia and New Zealand, which ensures that businesses don’t face additional bureaucracy and allows them to continue trading as freely as they do today after UK leaves the European Union.

Many of the other trade agreements are at an advanced stage, and the UK Government will be signing more in the coming days and weeks.

UK will continue to update businesses and they should continue to plan for range of scenarios, including the possibility of leaving the European Union without an agreement.

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