The UK’s 2016 EU Referendum, where 51.9% voted to leave the EU but 48.1% voted to stay, started a process that will transform Britain’s relationship with the rest of Europe. Greens campaigned strongly to remain in the EU and we continue to believe the UK is best served by being an EU member. Much has already been said about the effect of Brexit on trade – but the focus has often been one of wishful thinking, with scant regard for some of the underlying issues, including the constraints on Britain ‘going it alone’ in trade terms.
In January 2017 I compiled a publication UK Trade After the Brexit vote which brings together perspectives from elected Greens, academics, campaigners and trade unions, from the UK, EU and internationally and considers some of the most pressing questions around trade and Brexit, including:
- Would countries put a trade deal with the UK ahead of a deal with the EU, and if so, at what cost?
- What are the prospects for UK trade deals with countries such as India, Australia and the US, and what might the costs and impacts be? What would the UK need to offer in return?
- What impacts could such deals have on specific areas like agriculture, services, and the environment?
- How far would a UK-US trade deal amount to a powershift to multinational companies rather than ‘taking back control’?
- Why is CETA a particularly bad model for future UK-EU trade relations?
- What will happen to the trade deals we currently have with 50+ countries, which arise from our EU membership?
Contributions from myself – Jean Lambert MEP, Prof. Alan Winters, Molly Scott Cato MEP, Keith Taylor MEP, Dr Geenthajali Nataraj, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Senate), Rosa Crawford (TUC), Melinda St. Louis (Global Trade Watch) and Ska Keller MEP.
Paper copies are available on request.