What would operating under WTO rules mean for the UK?

As the UK negotiates its future partnership with the EU, the Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG) explored the potential cross-sector impact of trade relations under World Trade Organisation rules in a webinar on 22 April 2020.


The UK already trades with a number of countries on WTO terms, including the US and China. The key question is what happens if there is no free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and the UK when the current transition period expires.

WIG considers the change will be:

  • Primarily in relation to trade between the EU and the UK
  • Also in relation to trade between the UK and non-EU countries with an FTA with the EU (such as Japan and Canada)
  • Potentially wider if the UK moves away from currently existing EU (trade) policy (e.g. tariffs, trade remedies, possibly food standards)

These questions were explored in a webinar, in which the following topics were discussed in relation to the UK’s future relationship with global trade:

  • Border impacts
  • Behind the border impacts
  • The impact on services
  • Governance
  • Mitigation

Watch the webinar in full here:

The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIF) is an independent charity and membership organisation, which champions learning and understanding between the sectors. Its membership includes organisations from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

(Source: The Whitehall & Industry Group)


Exemplas Trade Services Ltd (ETSL) has delivered the contract for the Department for International Trade (formerly UK Trade and Investment) in the East of England for almost a decade.

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