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This briefing summarises the UK’s progress in its negotiations for free trade agreements (FTAs). It looks at negotiations which have already started and countries where the UK Government is making preparations before negotiations start. It does not go into detail on the content of the negotiations. It focusses on ‘new’ trade agreements – not those which rolled over previous EU agreements.

 

Signed agreements

The UK has signed three new trade agreements since leaving the EU. The agreement with Australia was signed in December 2021 and that with New Zealand in February 2022. The digital trade agreement with Singapore was signed in February 2022. These agreements are not yet in force.

Current free trade agreement negotiations

The UK Government has started negotiations for a trade agreement with the countries listed below.

  • Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP): the CPTPP is a trade agreement between 11 countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The UK applied to join in February 2021. Negotiations started in September 2021 and the Government says it hopes they will be concluded by the end of 2022.
  • US: Negotiations started in May 2020. An agreement is not expected soon.
  • India: There is no current trade agreement between the UK and India. Negotiations started on 17 January 2022.
  • Canada: there is an existing trade agreement with Canada which largely replicates that which Canada has with the EU. Negotiations for a new UK-Canada trade agreement were launched in March 2022.

Where the UK is preparing for free trade agreement negotiations

Other countries where the UK is preparing for trade negotiations are:

  • Mexico: Negotiations are expected to start soon to update the existing UK-Mexico trade agreement. This also largely replicates the agreement Mexico has with the EU.
  • Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC): The GCC represents six states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE). The UK currently does not have a free trade agreement with any of these countries. In October 2021, the Government launched a consultation on a trade agreement with the GCC. The Government hopes negotiations will begin in 2022.
  • Israel: in February 2022, the Government launched a consultation on a new trade agreement with Israel, to update the existing agreement which largely replicates the EU-Israel FTA. The consultation ends on 30 March with negotiations expected to start later in 2022.

  • Switzerland: in April 2022, the Government launched a consultation on a new trade agreement with Switzerland, to update the existing FTA which largely replicates the EU-Switzerland agreement. The consultation closes on 22 June 2022.

     

 


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