The trade war between the United States and China has already had an impact on European economies. And as Robert Basedow explains, with the conflict centred on global economic and political leadership, it is unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future. This will create important challenges and opportunities for both the EU and the UK in the coming years, as geopolitical considerations and power politics come to play a greater role in the world economy. The world’s two biggest economies...Read More »
If the UK fails to secure a Brexit deal with the EU by the end of this month, then it is obliged under the so-called Benn Act to request an extension to the process. But what if the government manages to bypass the Benn Act and take the country out of the EU without a deal? Robert Basedow explains that in this scenario it would likely fall upon the EU’s Court of Justice to rule on the legality of the UK’s departure. A hard Brexit that breaches the British constitution would equally breach...Read More »
Some members of the UK government have hinted that the country may unilaterally refrain from introducing controls at the border with the Republic of Ireland in the case of a hard Brexit. Robert Basedow explains that if this were to occur, it would constitute a serious challenge for the EU and its single market. Customs authorities on the continent may have to enforce a ‘Southern Irish backstop’ and check that goods coming from Ireland are indeed of Irish rather than British or third country...Read More »
What can the latest revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico and the United States tell us about the potential future of EU international investment policy? Robert Basedow suggests that NAFTA 2.0 indicates the love story of OECD economies with investment protection agreements and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms appears to be coming to an end, which could have clear ramifications for the EU given ISDS has been a controversial issue...Read More »
The UK government has proposed maintaining a ‘common rulebook’ with the European Union following Brexit, which would in principle prevent non-tariff trade barriers from developing. But if this proposal fails and the UK leaves without a deal, how would British manufacturers be affected? Robert Basedow draws lessons from the South Korean car industry, noting that manufacturers based outside of major regulatory regimes are not necessarily doomed to failure, but do face the extra costs of...Read More »
The WTO and plurilateralism: What lessons can we draw from the EU’s experience with ‘differentiated integration’?
The World Trade Organization will hold a ministerial conference in Buenos Aires from 10-13 December. One of the key topics on the agenda will be the nature of WTO negotiations and whether the WTO should make greater use of so called ‘plurilateral agreements’ which involve some, but not all WTO members. Robert Basedow writes that the WTO could learn from the EU’s use of ‘differentiated integration’ as a mechanism for allowing likeminded member states to deepen and broaden integration....Read More »