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Trade

Julia Lopez Conservative MP for Hornchurch and Upminster, member of the Trade Select Committee

Post-Brexit trade policy “will not be easy”

To Brexit’s dreamiest proponents, the UK’s decision to leave the EU will reignite the Commonwealth as a trading bloc and herald a glorious new era of global free trade. To its fiercest sceptics, it will leave us a minnow with neither the regulatory heft nor market size to negotiate decent free trade agreements (FTAs).

As ever, reality nestles somewhere between the hyperbole. Our urgent priority must be to define our future relationship with the EU in a way that leaves room for an independent trade policy. The prime minister laid out her own preference for those ties in the Chequers plan, proposing to bind the UK by treaty to EU rules on goods and agriculture in exchange for frictionless trade. This would severely limit the scope and value of any new FTAs we might strike.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s October issue: Rafael Behr argues that politics has been poisoned by Twitter—the platform often drives the political news agenda, encourages people to descend deeper and deeper into echo chambers and sees MPs and their families regularly abused. Meanwhile, former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger explains how Oxford picks its students and says that more needs to be done for the colleges to be more inclusive. Also, Jasmin Mujanovic outlines how Bosnia’s elections this month could tip the country back into conflict. Elsewhere in the issue: Alex Dean highlights the alarming decline in the number of students studying a foreign language at GCSE and beyond. Will Self reviews a series of new books about liberalism, arguing that “we need more than just social freedoms and the free market.” Aimee Cliff charts the story of the dying dream that London would be a 24-hour city.