Brexit—alternative UK trade models
Produced in partnership with Adam Cygan of University of Leicester
Brexit—alternative UK trade models

The following Public Law guidance note Produced in partnership with Adam Cygan of University of Leicester provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Brexit—alternative UK trade models
  • Negotiating guidelines and policy papers
  • Red lines for the future UK-EU relationship
  • Default application of the World Trade Organization rules
  • UK access to the EU Single Market
  • The EU Customs Union
  • The 'Norway' model—the European Economic Area
  • Potential issues with the Norway model
  • European Arrest Warrant and Schengen area membership
  • The 'Swiss' model—the negotiation of bilateral treaties
  • more

This Practice Note outlines the possible arrangements for trading with the EU Member States, with reference to key models for existing trading relationships which have been established between the EU and non-EU countries.

On 29 March 2017 the UK gave formal notification to the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).

Article 50 TEU provides a two-year period to negotiate the terms of the UK's withdrawal. This period may be extended by unanimous agreement. Article 50 TEU regulates the process by which the EU negotiates a withdrawing Member State's political withdrawal from the EU. It does not set out the detail of this process and makes no provision for finalising the withdrawing Member State’s future trading arrangements with the EU, which is dealt with separately under Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Arguably, withdrawal is therefore separate to re-engagement and any agreement between the UK and the EU regarding its future trading arrangements should be made only once the withdrawal process has been completed and the UK becomes a third-state. However, negotiations and arrangements for withdrawal under Article 50 TEU should take into account the 'framework' for the UK's future relationship with the EU. Without any precedent it is not clear to what extent.

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