Can the UK Negotiate a New Kind of Free Trade Arrangement?

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Publication Date 28/07/2017
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The Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) is an Irish think tank on European and International affairs and is an independent, not-for-profit organisation with charitable status. Its extensive research programme aims to provide its members with high-level analysis and forecasts of the challenges on the global and EU policy agendas which impact on Ireland. It acts as a catalyst for new thinking, new solutions and policy options, which give its members from the private and public sector a significant competitive advantage.

The IIEA provides a unique forum in Ireland for corporate networking. It annually hosts over 100 events which afford its members unparalleled access to the highest-level speakers, decision-makers, and thought-leaders at national, EU and global level. These events include: Breakfast briefings, Keynote Speeches; Roundtable Discussions; Seminars; Luncheons; Panel Discussions; and Workshops. What did you miss?This paper considers the possible post-Brexit trading relationships between the UK and EU, and analyses the likelihood of achieving them. The main conclusion is that it would be difficult or impossible to negotiate a special new agreement, but that all the UK’s objectives would be achieved if the UK would join the European Economic Area (EEA). The author argues that the EEA offers the best, and perhaps the only, solution, both for the UK as a whole and for Scotland and both parts of Ireland.

John Temple Lang is a Solicitor, an Adjunct Professor at Trinity College Dublin, and a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. He spent more than twenty years in the Legal Service and the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission. He has published over 300 articles on legal topics and has lectured at many conferences in Europe and North America.

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Related Links
The Conversation, 19.07.17: Could the UK rejoin the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) after Brexit? (et al)
ESO: Background information: Why the Norway model is a flawed blueprint for Brexit
ESO: Background information: Taking back control of trade

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