UK Trade Deal Tracker

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A

Australia

19/01/17

Dr Liam Fox confirms that the UK will seek a trade deal with Australia as a priority after Brexit. He said; “We will want to develop new arrangements with countries such as Australia, New Zealand and India. We are conducting trade audits with a number of countries to see how we can remove barriers to trade and investment to our mutual benefit.”

25/10/16

Australian Trade Minister, StevenCiobo, said negotiations must wait until post-Brexit. He cited legal restrictions meant talks can’t begin yet, but that a UK-Australia trade deal would be negotiated as “efficiently and promptly as possible”.

07/09/16

UK Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, announced that the UK has set up a trade working group with Australia to begin discussions about possible future trade deals.

04/09/16

On the first day of the G20 summit in China, new UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced that she will open talks on a landmark new free trade deal with Australia. She declared that “Britain will be a world-leader in free trade”. Further details of the deal are expected to emerge after Mrs May and her Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, meet on Monday 5th September. [Telegraph]

30/07/16

Australian PM said that he ‘urgently wanted’ to open up trade between the two countries in a telephone call to UK PM Theresa May. [BBC]

Turnbull also announced that Australia will collaborate with New Zealand in a bid to negotiate new trade and immigration deals with the UK. After speak with the New Zealand PM, John Key, he said “We have many, many common interests in terms of dealing with that, both from a trade point of view, from a movement of persons point of view. There are some big issues in terms of the access of Australians and New Zealanders to Europe and indeed to the United Kingdom.” Turnbull said he wanted to establish a “collaborative, cooperative framework” with New Zealand if he was returned as prime minister. [ABC]

Also a Commonwealth nation.

B

Brazil

05/09/16

The UK government is planning to hold joint economic and trade committee meetings with Brazil by the end of 2016. It is holding a consultation for UK business to identify their trade priorities. Consultation here. UK Government

30/07/16

Brazilian Foreign Minister, Jose Serra, has called for immediate talks between the UK and Latin America’s trading bloc Mercosur. Mr Serra said he would he be making immediate contact with Boris Johnson in an effort to boost relations between the two countries.

Mercosur full members: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Associate members: Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Suriname.

Canada

30/07/16

The newly elected Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has struck a cautious tone with regard to Brexit. A government statement said “The UK and the EU are important strategic partners for Canada with whom we enjoy deep historical ties and common values. We will continue to build relations with both parties as they forge a new relationship.” [PM]

The Sun reported that Canadian officials had approached the UK Foreign Office for talks. [Sun]

Also a Commonwealth nation.

C

China

30/07/16

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has opened discussions with China on a trade deal. Early indications suggest that such a deal would allow greater access for Chinese banks and businesses to the UK economy. Hammond said that it was time to explore “new opportunities” across the world, adding “What we now need to do is get on with it in a way that minimises the economic impact on the UK economy in the short term and maximises the benefit in the long term,”

Chinese state media reports that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce is seeking a free trade deal with the UK. [BBC]

Colombia

05/09/16

The UK government is planning to hold joint economic and trade committee meetings with Colombia by the end of 2016. It is holding a consultation for UK business to identify their trade priorities. Consultation here. [UK Government]

30/07/16

Brazilian Foreign Minister, Jose Serra, has called for immediate talks between the UK and Latin America’s trading bloc Mercosur. Mr Serra said he would he be making immediate contact with Boris Johnson in an effort to boost relations between the two countries.

Mercosur full members: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Associate members: Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Suriname.

D

E

EU

17/01/16

Theresa May said; “As a priority, we will pursue a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. This agreement should allow for the freest possible trade in goods and services between Britain and the EU’s member states. It should give British companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets – and let European businesses do the same in Britain.”

30/07/16

As part of the EU, Germany has no power to negotiate a bilateral deal with the UK. However, as Britain’s biggest trade partner, is seeking to limit any negative consequences of Brexit.

The German Finance Ministry would prefer that the UK became an associate partner country, avoiding total exclusion from EU structures. It comes as the head of the federation of Germany industry (BDI), Markus Kerber, warned against the imposition of tariffs. He said “Imposing trade barriers, imposing protectionist measures between our two countries — or between the two political centres, the EU on the one hand and the UK on the other — would be a very, very foolish thing in the 21st century. The BDI would urge politicians on both sides to come up with a trade regime that enables us to uphold and maintain the levels of trade we have, although it will become more difficult.” [Sky], [Times]

F

G

The Gambia

20/01/17

The Gambia’s incoming President said that “Britain will be our number one partner”, in an interview with Sky News.

Ghana

30/07/16

Ghana was one of the first countries to indicate a trade deal was likely with the UK. Foreign Minister, Hannah Tetteh, said that “Even though Britain has not formally exited the EU, and the UK remains bound by previous agreements signed under the EU, Ghana will immediately start talks with the UK on a bilateral trade agreement”.

Ghana already has a deal with the EU, but EU agricultural policies are seen as unfair to African countries. A free trade deal with the UK would relieve the pressures that the EU agricultural subsidies bring.

Also a Commonwealth nation.

H

I

Iceland

30/07/16

Iceland was the first country to offer the UK a free trade agreement. Iceland’s President, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, said the UK can join the European Free Trade Area, which includes Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein. [Iceland Monitor]

India

19/01/17

Dr Liam Fox confirms that the UK will seek a trade deal with India as a priority after Brexit. He said; “We will want to develop new arrangements with countries such as Australia, New Zealand and India. We are conducting trade audits with a number of countries to see how we can remove barriers to trade and investment to our mutual benefit.”

07/11/16

UK Prime Minister Theresa May visited India on a trade mission in order to strengthen ties with the country before post-Brexit trade negotiations start. She offered “improvements” to the UK visa system, in return for India accepting tens of thousands of overstayers in the UK.

Narendra Modi warned that education would define the relationship between the two countries. Mrs May sought to assure him that Indian students will still be welcomed to the UK:

“As part of this, the UK will consider further improvements to our visa offer if at the same time we can step up the speed and volume of returns of Indians with no right to remain in the UK.

“And the UK will continue to welcome the brightest and best Indian students, with the latest figures showing that nine out of ten applications are granted.”

07/09/16

UK Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, announced that the UK has set up a trade working group with India to begin discussions about possible future trade deals. [Hansard]

05/09/16

The UK government is planning to hold joint economic and trade committee meetings with India by the end of 2016. It is holding a consultation for UK business to identify their trade priorities. Consultation here. [UK Government]

04/09/16

Theresa May is expected to have discussions with Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, at the G20 summit in China.

30/07/16

The EU’s own attempt at a trade deal with India has stalled, with no prospect of completion. Indian Deputy Finance Minister, Jayant Sinha, said “The UK is going to look to build its relationships with the rest of the world, and will seek to pursue new opportunities with us.” [FT]

Also a Commonwealth nation.

Ireland

30/07/16

A director for the Irish employers association Ibec, Mary Rose Burke, said that “Any additional barriers [to trade between Ireland and the UK], even if the tariff is zero, would be a hindrance.” The UK International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, is pressing the PM, Theresa May, to withdraw from even a customs union with the EU. Ibec estimated that this could add 25% to the cost of doing business.

J

Japan

04/09/16

At the G20 summit in China, Japan warned that its banks, car manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies may leave the UK. The country warned that this would be the case less a trade deal is struck to maintain tariff-free trade with the EU. It published a 15-page document outlining its wishes for a post-EU Britain. These included:

  • Maintenance of trade in goods with no burdens of customs duties and procedures
  • Unfettered investment
  • An environment in which services and financial transactions across Europe can be provided and carried out smoothly
  • Access to workforces with the necessary skills
  • Harmonised regulations and standards

In conclusion, the report says:

“Japanese businesses with their European headquarters in the UK may decide to transfer their head-office function to continental Europe if EU laws cease to be applicable in the UK after its withdrawal,” the report concludes.

It says: “In light of the fact that a number of Japanese businesses, invited by the government in some cases, have invested actively to the UK, which was seen to be a gateway to Europe, and have established value-chains across Europe, we strongly request that the UK will consider this fact seriously and respond in a responsible manner to minimise any harmful effects on these businesses.”

Read the full document here.

[Telegraph]

30/07/16

At a British Chamber of Commerce event in Hong Kong, UK International Trade minister, Lord Price, said ‘I’m optimistic about the future: particularly in helping create a second Elizabethan Golden Age. The first Golden Age was based on peace, prosperity, new trading markets and a flourishing of the arts. There’s also a prospect for striking new deals with Canada, New Zealand and Australia which could form the beginning of a Commonwealth trading pact. And to the opportunities in the East, where for centuries British merchants have traded with China for tea, white gold and porcelain as well as with Japan, South Korea and other Asian nations.’

K

Kazakhstan

05/09/16

The UK government is planning to hold joint economic and trade committee meetings with Kazakhstan by the end of 2016. It is holding a consultation for UK business to identify their trade priorities. Consultation here. [UK Government]

Kenya

30/07/16

A nine-year-in-the-making trade deal between the EU and the East African Community (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda) fell apart in July after Tanzania and Uganda refused to sign do to uncertainty sparked by Brexit.

Despite this, the UK looks set to strengthen trade ties with members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Scotland, said that she remained “hugely, hugely positive” after Brexit, “The fact that the United Kingdom made the decision to come out has put [trade with the Commonwealth] on turbocharge,” she told the Lords International Relations committee.

L

M

Mercosur

30/07/16

(Full members: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Associate members: Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Suriname.)

Brazilian Foreign Minister, Jose Serra, has called for immediate talks between the UK and Latin America’s trading bloc Mercosur. Mr Serra said he would he be making immediate contact with Boris Johnson in an effort to boost relations between the two countries. [FT]

Mexico

30/07/16

Mexico’s trade negotiators have shown themselves to be the most eager of all, having already drafted a trade pact pact for the two countries. Fears over instability following the Brexit vote fuelled the swift work by Mexican officials. Mexican Finance Minister, Luis Vinegary, said that he saw a “great opportunity”, despite trade with the UK only amounting to 0.7% of Mexican exports ($4.3bn). [FT]

Mexico already has a free trade agreement with the EU.

N

New Zealand

19/01/17

Dr Liam Fox confirms that the UK will seek a trade deal with New Zealand as a priority after Brexit. He said; “We will want to develop new arrangements with countries such as Australia, New Zealand and India. We are conducting trade audits with a number of countries to see how we can remove barriers to trade and investment to our mutual benefit.”

13/01/16

In a press conference with his UK counterpart, Prime Minister Bill English said; “New Zealand is ready to negotiate high-quality trade deal with UK, when it is in a position to do so. I hope to negotiate a deal as soon as possible after Brexit. New Zealand is the ideal partner for UK demonstrate that it can negotiate high-quality trade deals”.

30/07/16

New Zealand First party leader Winston Peters said “a trade deal with the UK is an absolute priority” and “New Zealand must be the first country in the queue for a trade deal with a liberated United Kingdom.”

Labour Party leader Andrew Little suggested New Zealand should draw on its long and historic relationship with the UK to ensure future trade. [Radio New Zealand]

Australian PM, Malcolm Turnbull, announced that Australia will collaborate with New Zealand in a bid to negotiate new trade and immigration deals with the UK. After speaking with the New Zealand PM, John Key, he said “We have many, many common interests in terms of dealing with that, both from a trade point of view, from a movement of persons point of view. There are some big issues in terms of the access of Australians and New Zealanders to Europe and indeed to the United Kingdom.” Turnbull said he wanted to establish a “collaborative, cooperative framework” with New Zealand if he was returned as prime minister. [ABC]

Also a Commonwealth nation.

O

P

Pakistan

30/07/16

Deputy High Commissioner to Karachi and Director Trade and Investment for Pakistan, Belinda Lewis, met the Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Mian Rehman Aziz, to reiterate that the UK had strong trade and investment links with Pakistan long before the EU. Aziz said that the UK is the third largest importer of Pakistani goods, after the US and China, adding that Pakistan’s exports are helped by the Generalised scheme of preference (GSP) plus arrangement with the EU.

British Business Centre Chief Executive Officer, Malahat Awan, said that they will soon sign a memorandum of understanding with the FPCCI for enhancing the trade relation.

The UK also looks set to strengthen trade ties with members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Scotland, said that she remained “hugely, hugely positive” after Brexit, “The fact that the United Kingdom made the decision to come out has put [trade with the Commonwealth] on turbocharge,” she told the Lords International Relations committee.

Q

R

S

South Korea

05/09/16

The UK government is planning to hold joint economic and trade committee meetings with South Korea by the end of 2016. It is holding a consultation for UK business to identify their trade priorities. Consultation here. UK Government

30/07/16

Just days after the referendum result, the then UK Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, revealed that South Korea had approached the UK to begin trade negations. Sun

Switzerland

30/07/16

Whilst the UK’s post-Brexit arrangement remains uncertain, Iceland’s President, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, said the UK can join the European Free Trade Area, which includes Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. Iceland Monitor

T

Taiwan

05/09/16

The UK government is planning to hold joint economic and trade committee meetings with Taiwan by the end of 2016. It is holding a consultation for UK business to identify their trade priorities. Consultation here. UK Government

Turkey

27/09/16

Boris Johnson has said that he hopes for a “jumbo free trade deal between the United Kingdom and Turkey”, on his first official visit to the country. Cyprus Mail

U

United States

21/01/17

The Trump administration reportedly told Nigel Farage that there will be a US-UK trade deal “within 90 days of Brexit”. Mr Farage said that Donald Trump was offering a “great gift” and was willing to hold talks before Britain even left the EU.

Theresa May said “I’m confident we can look at areas even in advance of being able to sign a formal trade deal. Perhaps we could look at barriers to trade at the moment and remove some of those barriers to open up that new trading relationship.”

16/01/17

On the possibility of a US-UK trade deal, President-elect Trump said; “Absolutely, very quickly. I’m a big fan of the UK. We’re gonna work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly. Good for both sides.” Mrs May said “We welcome the commitment from the president-elect to engage with the UK on this, to work together to agree a deal quickly.”

04/09/16

Theresa May is expected to have discussions with US President, Barack Obama, at the G20 summit in China.

30/07/16

US Senators Lee & Cotton introduced the “United Kingdom Trade Continuity Act” in the wake of the Brexit vote. Senate

The US trade representative, Michael Froman, has begun preliminary discussions with senior UK officials about how they might pursue a trade agreement between the two countries. FT

However, Froman reiterated that “Brexit must happen before [the US] will consider trade deal with the UK”. Independent

During the referendum campaign President Obama warned that the UK would go to the ‘back of the queue’, should it vote to leave the EU. Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute of International Economics, said that this statement “will be forgotten by the next administration, if not sooner.”

Former deputy U.S. Trade Representative, Miriam Sapiro, thinks it might be even easier for the US to negotiate a trade deal with Britain, a “like-minded” country that is more open to free trade than other EU member states. HeatStreet

Senator Johnny Isakson said “[The UK have] been a great trading partner to the United States for decades and decades, and I wouldn’t stop trading with them ’cause they got out of the EU. I’d be happy to negotiate a bilateral agreement.” he went on to note that “it might even be easier” than negotiating a broad agreement with the entire EU. His point comes as the EU-US TTIP negotiations face considerable opposition in Germany and Austria. Politico

V

Vietnam

05/09/16

The UK government is planning to hold joint economic and trade committee meetings with Vietnam by the end of 2016. It is holding a consultation for UK business to identify their trade priorities. Consultation here. UK Government

W

XYZ

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  • James

    Went really well at the G20.
    Obama put May right in her place and made it ctystal clear that any trade agreements with UK were not a priority.

    • RobertS

      Perhaps you need to read the reference to the potential trade with the US, where comment was passed on Obama’s remark concerning the “back of the queue”.
      This bit:
      Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute of International Economics, said that this statement “will be forgotten by the next administration, if not sooner.”
      Should have gone to Specsavers.

  • Pete E

    Tracking the deals looks to be a really useful idea. Could you please summarise where the UK is overall compared to the EU’s deals in an ongoing basis – then we’d all have a better idea of how much better / worse we we doing in re-establishing our International trade under BRXIT.

    • Thanks Peter – excellent idea and we will look to include this comparison in due course.