Brexit:The Main Dimensions

  • the UK tariff dimension;
  • the UK non-tariff dimension;
  • the UK preference erosion dimension;
  • the functioning of EU27 markets dimension;
  • the trilateral trade dimension;
  • the trade displacement dimension.

The Brexit Process (1)


  • UK will replicate bilaterally EU’s scheme for DFQF access for LDCs (EBA)


  • Exports to UK currently fall under EU-Africa Trade Agreements (EPAs)
  • EU Trade Agreement consist of reciprocal trade preferences
  • duty free access for African exporters (obligations)
  • tariff and non-tariff preferences for EU exporters (rights)
  • Once UK leaves EU EPA will no longer apply to the UK and new basis for mutual trade will need to be established – EXCEPT…….

The Brexit Process: During the

Transition (2)


  • Short term relations with UK during EU27/UK transition period (up to 2021)
  • Long term trade relations with the UK beyond the transition (beyond 2021)

EU Position on the transition:

  • UK must respect its trade obligations through the transition

UK Position on the transition:

  • both UK’s obligations and rights under EU trade agreements must be respected throughout the transition

Latest Compromise (19 March 2018 draft agreed Withdrawal Agreement – W.A.):

  • UK must respects obligations throughout transition (I,e. grant DFQF access to African exporters)


  • UK can negotiate, sign & ratify trade agreements provided these don’t enter into force until after transition

Implications for African Countries

Negotiating Positions (1)

If EU position enshrined in legally binding W.A.

  • Existing African DFQF access to UK market guaranteed until 2021
  • Reduces pressure on African Govts, to quickly sign ‘cut & paste’ bilateral UK EPAs
  • Provides stronger position to ensure UK addresses longer term African concerns under refitted cut & paste bilateral trade deal

Implications for African countries

Longer Term Concerns

Can Ensure UK addresses under the ‘cut & paste’ ‘UK-only’ trade agreement

  • African Rules of origin
  • African SPS concerns
  • African UTP concerns
  • African preference erosion concerns
  • African trade adjustment concerns
  • African trilateral trade concerns

BUT…..Only get 1 shot to get it right

  • Staff shortages in DIT means: once UK has reciprocal access the same as the EU27, DIT wont want to deal with trade agreements with African countries again
  • Beware of the UK B.S. !!!!

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