One of the main reasonwhy a no-deal Brexit has been causing evident concern on both the UK and the EU’s side is attributed to the trade set-backs and implications this will entail.   If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, which is so far proving to be the most likely scenario, all trade arrangements including tariff-free access between the UK and the EU’s markets will be lost.  Looking at 201figures, the EU remains the UK’s most important trading partner; in fact46% of total UK exports are to the EU and the UK imports 54% of all its imports from the EU. This makes sense not only because the UK is still (so far) an EU Member State, but also because of the EU’s importance in international trade.  The EU’s GDP accounts to above €15 trillionestablishing it as one of the top three players in international trade with a share of 15.6 % of exports and imports worldwide. 

This makes the EU not only attractive but as such almost inevitable to trade with.  In fact, thanks to its economic and trade power as a bloc of 28 Member Statesthe EU has managed to negotiate approximately 40 free trade agreements which include more than 70 countries world-wide.   The EU’s trade policy goes beyond the elimination of trade barriers such as quotas and tariffs when trading with other countries.  Thanks to the trade agreements the EU has established, there has been increased trading opportunities for European business and enterprises to export their products and services outside the EU.  Increased trade through free trade agreements supports economic growth as well as employment, with recent statistics showing that EU exports support 36 million jobs across the EU.   Free trade agreements also make sure that imports coming to the EU adhere to the right safety, social and environmental standards.  

Therefore, in this context, a no deal Brexit is certainly not a preferred outcome, especially in the kind of economic globalised world we live in today where the EU emerges as one of the top players.   There will be clear impacts, the extent to which will be evident in the coming months and years.