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Making the Most of Brexit Freedoms

Publication date: 15 December 2022PDFMaking the Most of Brexit Freedoms.pdf

How to Achieve the Benefits of Brexit – International Economic Lawyer, Professor David Collins urges ministers to move on three fronts

Many ‘Remain’ loyalists continue to bemoan voters’ decision to leave the EU. And in the economic downturn which has now affected countries across the globe, in the wake of Covid and the war in Ukraine, that Brexit has ‘failed’.

But, says David Collins, Brexit can be a success but more needs to be done. The UK has not yet actualised the benefits of Brexit. In Making the Most of Brexit Freedoms, Politeia’s new publication, the author, who holds the chair of International Economic Law at City University of London, explains that the government must now must take active steps to make  Brexit a success.

The two priorities must be to enable better regulation at home and expand the potential for free trade with other nations.

First, the legacy of UK law must be removed and domestic regulation reformed. Next, trade deals with the EU and internationally must be improved and international trade expanded. The government should understand that trade agreements are not endpoints but represent long-term relationships. It is too soon to judge whether they have ‘failed’ or not.

In particular, Professor Collins proposes:

  • Those aspects of EU law which are not fit for purpose in the UK should be eliminated
  • Trade with the EU should be prioritised. Work with the EU should continue to improve the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) – it has the potential to deliver greater benefits over time
  • Trade agreements with the rest of the world are important but must not be taken for granted. The UK must abandon protectionism in order to strike the best deals

Professor Collins adds:

‘We must abandon our pessimism about Brexit and stop using it as cover for a range of policy failures as well and unanticipated crises. But the benefits of Brexit won’t arise on their own – the UK must seize the opportunity to get rid of pointless EU rules, where necessary, and to forge better trade agreements that are more suited to the UK’s economic needs.’

Notes to Editors

  1. Professor David Collins holds the chair of International Economic Law at City, University of London and a member of Politeia’s Academic Advisory Council. A WTO specialist, he previously practised commercial litigation in Toronto and was a prosecutor for the Attorney General in Ontario, Canada. His publications include The Public International Law of Trade in Legal Services (Cambridge, 2019), An Introduction to International Investment Law (Cambridge, 2016).
  2. Established in 1995, Politeia is an independent, non-partisan think-tank providing a forum to discuss economic, constitutional and social policy with a particular focus on the role of the state in people’s lives.

Professor David Collins

David Collins is Professor of International Economic Law at City, University of London and a member of Politeia's Academic Advisory Council. A WTO specialist, he previously practised commercial litigation in Toronto and was a prosecutor for the Attorney General in Ontario, Canada. His publications include The Public International Law of Trade in Legal Services (Cambridge, 2019), An Introduction to International Investment Law (Cambridge, 2016). Twitter: @davidcollinslaw.

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