Volume 12 (2017) / Issue 3
Following the vote of British people in favour of the UK leaving the EU (so-called Brexit) there was much discussion and confusion about the future relationship between the UK and the EU, as well as the future trade relations between the UK and third countries. In Feb. 2017 the UK Government issued a White Paper which has clarified its position and was the basis for the vote in the Parliament to trigger the negotiations with the EU. According to that paper the UK will pursue a new strategic partnership with the EU, including ‘an ambitious and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a new customs agreement’. Furthermore, the UK wants to take advantage of the opportunity to negotiate its ‘own preferential trade agreements around the world’. Based on these assumptions, this article will first describe the withdrawal process, and then the status of the UK in the WTO after the Brexit. Finally, the consequences of the available options for customs and trade policy matters will be addressed, in particular for economic operators in the UK and the EU, who will bear the main burden of the forthcoming changes.
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