Free trade agreement (FTA)

Free trade agreement (FTA) Would the UK miss out on the EU trade deal with the USA?
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Under this arrangement the UK could set its own trade policies with non EU countries. Because of size of UK market, would probably secure deal with EU quite easily with perhaps zero tariff on manufactured goods.

But EU would regulate the labour market, set health and safety standards and product standards. Would be subject to anti dumping rules. Access to services might be more difficult because of UK trade surplus with EU in services. And UK would have to accept free movement of people and probably continue to make payments.

The UK would not inherit EU’s existing bilateral trade deals, including the 22 the EU has concluded with Commonwealth partners. And would have to negotiate new ones. As already very open to imports would have little to offer to other countries in return for reducing tariffs.

The trends are towards negotiations between blocs and away from country to country. It would all take time and the UK is short of professional trade negotiators.

In principle (FT May 13, 2016) ‘the more ‘independence’ the UK seeks, the worse its access to EU markets, particularly in regulation intensive financial sectors.’