On 30 August 2018, TheCityUK published a report on a UK-EU association agreement and future UK free trade agreements.

The report begins by analysing major features of the UK Government's July 2018 White Paper on the future relationship between the UK and the EU, with particular focus on the free trade agreement (FTA) as one aspect of the future UK-EU economic partnership. It addresses what an FTA is and what it could potentially cover.

The report discusses all the economic aspects of the White Paper proposals, offering commentary on each and highlighting questions that it says should particularly engage the financial and related professional services industry. TheCityUK says that the aim of the report is to raise awareness of core areas in the White Paper along with suggestions for assessing their full implications for the industry.

These areas include:

  • the UK-EU economic partnership: the report draws attention to the implications of the White Paper’s proposals on trade in goods, services and investment, the framework for mobility, digital issues, open and fair competition, socio-economic co-operation, and the UK’s future independent trade policy;
  • the UK-EU security partnership: this gives a more selective review of the implications of proposed arrangements on shared security, law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation, and foreign policy, defence and development;
  • cross-cutting and other UK-EU co-operation: the report considers the financial and related professional services industry’s interests in data protection, classified information and UK-EU cooperative accords in various fields;
  • institutional arrangements: particular focus is concentrated on new forms of UK-EU dialogue, administrative provisions and dispute resolution, and industry’s interest in these.