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UKTPO evidence cited in House of Lords EU Committee report

The report, which considers the recently agreed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the UK and the Republic of Korea, cites evidence from the UKTPO in twelve different places. The UKTPO’s contribution to the inquiry also feeds into a number of the Committee’s conclusions and recommendations to the Government.

The report forms part of the EU Committee’s scrutiny of Brexit-related treaties. After leaving the European Union, the UK will need to renegotiate existing treaties that the country is currently party to as an EU member. The Free Trade Agreement between Korea and the UK is an example of an agreement that seeks to ‘roll over’ the terms of Korea’s existing FTA with the European Union.

In its evidence to the Committee, the UKTPO drew attention to Most Favoured Nation clauses – the World Trade Organization regulations that require all trading partners to be treated equally – which “may make Korea less inclined to give the UK any better treatment than what it has already granted the EU, because that would risk having to provide the same access to the whole of the EU ‘for free’”.

In response, the Committee recommended that the Government “set out in full the effects of MFN provisions in the explanatory material accompanying roll-over trade agreements [and] provide information on its approach to negotiating MFN provisions in new agreements”.

The Committee also drew on research published by the UKTPO in its Briefing Paper, Can the UK do better than just rolling over the trade agreement with Korea?, to inform its scrutiny of the agreement.

The committee thanked the UKTPO for its contribution to the inquiry. The committee noted that ‘our ability to scrutinise the Agreement in depth was enhanced considerably by written evidence from […] the UK Trade Policy Observatory’.

To find out more about the UKTPO’s engagement with parliamentary inquires, see the UKTPO website.

By: George Meredith
Last updated: Wednesday, 13 November 2019