Thursday 15 June 2023

The UK’s trade trajectory

In search of a post-Brexit trade strategy

Brexit was a seismic break for the UK, not least in bringing to a close a decades long trade strategy focused on integration with European markets. Since then the Government has successfully rushed to sign as many trade agreements as possible, but these largely roll over arrangements inherited from EU membership, with little prospect of further significant trading ties. It is far from clear what comes next — what a lasting post-Brexit trade strategy for the UK might be that recognises both our economy’s strengths and the wider global trade landscape, where geopolitics is playing an increasing role.

What are the priorities for the UK’s trade strategy now that the heat of Brexit negotiations have cooled, but global trade tensions are heating up? How should that strategy be integrated into a wider economic strategy for Britain? Which balance should be struck between a European or global focus? And can Britain protect manufacturing industries such as automotives, which are highly integrated into European supply chains, while ensuring the opportunities from faster growing service trade are seized?

The Resolution Foundation is hosting an in-person and interactive hybrid event – as part of The Economy 2030 Inquiry, funded by the Nuffield Foundation – to debate and answer these questions. Following a presentation of highlights from major new research assessing what the UK’s new trade strategy should focus on, we will hear from leading experts on the trade-offs involved in taking a new direction on trade.

The event will be open for people to physically attend, alongside being broadcast via YouTube and the Resolution Foundation website. Viewers will be able to submit questions to the panel before and during the event via Slido.