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Updated: UK wants to ‘cut and paste’ EU trade deals

[ December 1, 2017   //   ]

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is planning to seek “transitional adoption” of the EU’s free trade agreements (FTAs) — in other words, translate existing FTAs from EU into UK law or by adopting them into UK law on an interim basis, pending renegotiation at a later stage, says the UK Parliament’s International Trade Committee.

The committee is to hold an evidence session on Wednesday 6 December (10am, Grimond Room, Portcullis House) to discuss with witnesses the scale of this task, and whether there are any FTAs that should be prioritised over others.

The EU is party to 36 regional or bilateral FTAs, covering more than 60 countries – which the UK will cease to be a party to after Brexit. The Government has previously said that it intends to replicate the rights that the UK presently enjoys under these agreements.

However EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem poured cold water on any such suggestions a few days later, on 5 December, saying that the UK would leave EU trade agreements when it left the Union. She did not think it was possible to roll over existing EU trade agreements.


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