As Brexit negotiations inch closer to the spring 2019 deadline, many in Prime Minister Theresa May’s government are beginning to acknowledge that the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union will not yield the levels of sovereignty they had hoped for. Most recently, two staunch supporters of the Leave campaign — David Davis, former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and Boris Johnson, former British Foreign Secretary — have resigned.
In this video, international trade law expert Thomas Cottier considers the impact that Brexit might have on trade and, more specifically, the World Trade Organization. Current Brexit plans include the establishment of bilateral and plurilateral trade agreements as a replacement for access to the common market. According to Cottier, those who voted for sovereignty with trade in mind will be frustrated and disappointed because Brexit’s approach to trade is unlikely to yield positive outcomes for the United Kingdom.
Cottier explores this idea further in his contribution to Complexity’s Embrace: The International Law Implications of Brexit, a book recently published by CIGI and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. Complexity’s Embrace looks at the legal governance challenges presented by the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union and illustrates the many connective elements across five topic areas: trade, financial services, intellectual property, the environment and human rights.