Fiona Smith Inaugural Lecture
Professor Fiona Smith delivers her Inaugural Lecture on Brexit as Trade Governance. Abstract On 29th March 2017, the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, gave notice to the European Council President, Donald Tusk, of the UK’s intention to leave the European Union (EU). The UK is now engaged in complex discussions with the EU to determine the terms of the withdrawal agreement and the UK-EU trade relationship after Brexit. Whatever its final form, the EU-UK trade agreement must conform to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and be acceptable to the other WTO member states. The WTO rules are only partial, however, and were not designed to facilitate the withdrawal of a state from a regional trade agreement, the consequent contraction of an area of previously liberalised trade nor the potential (re)emergence of ‘protectionist’ trade barriers. The EU-UK trade agreement must transcend this problem by creating legally binding trade rules in an otherwise vacant multilateral legal space. At the same time, the EU-UK trade agreement will also redefine the terms on which third country WTO members trade with the EU. This occurs because preferential trade terms enjoyed by third countries with the EU cease to exist when they are reallocated to the UK alone and the intrinsic value of those preferential trade terms changes after BREXIT. The scale of the change means BREXIT represents a reordering of the terms of trade both between the EU and non-EU WTO members. In this paper, I explore the idea that this rule creation and reordering of trade relations is a new form of trade governance that reinvigorates the multilateral rule-making project in the WTO.
Prof Fiona Smith
10/31/2018 5:00:45 PM

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