Brexit - The government want to maximise the UK's trade opportunities globally and across all countries. Image: Open Government Licence v3.0

Trade negotiations – have your say

In six month’s time, the UK will have the opportunity to begin negotiating, signing, and ratifying Free Trade Agreements to bring them into force from January 2021.

In preparation for this, the UK Government is consulting with members of the public, businesses, trade experts, and any other interested organisations to help inform this work.

This initial consultation process will inform the overall approach to future trade relationship.

At the launch event International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said:

“These consultations are about how we position ourselves as Global Britain. To build the export markets, investment opportunities and trading relationships of the future.

“Trade affects us all – whether it is through the prices and availability of product on our supermarket shelves, to the resources available for our public services, to the jobs and investment on which we all rely.”

Trade agreements aim to reduce trade barriers between countries. Barriers can be taxes charged as goods cross borders (tariffs), or different rules and regulations. The different regulations can add to trade costs (non-tariff measures).

Trade and investment barriers make it more difficult and costly to trade or invest overseas. Reducing these barriers can help the flow of goods, services and money for investment between countries. They can also help businesses to access markets they previously weren’t able to. Consumers can have access to a greater variety of products at lower prices.

There are four online consultations

  1. Consultation on trade negotiations with the United States
  2. Consultation on trade negotiations with Australia
  3. Consultation on trade negotiations with New Zealand
  4. Consultation on the UK potentially seeking accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)


These agreements could:

  • enable increased trade and investment
  • secure access for UK exporters to the key markets of today and the future
  • give consumers access to a greater range of products at lower prices
  • make the UK more innovative, competitive and prosperous

Trade agreements do not prevent governments from regulating as they see fit. They also do not need governments to privatise any services.

The UK Government said that it is committed to maintaining high standards for consumers, workers and the environment.

It also said that it will protect public services in any future trade agreements.