By Paul Davies, Charles Claypoole and Michael Green

We have commented previously about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its relationship with environmental obligations. Here, following Brexit, we turn our attention to future trade arrangements for the UK and the implications for environmental law.

As a member of the EU, the UK was not able to negotiate its own trade agreements with non-member countries, and could only do so as part of the EU Common Commercial Policy (CCP). Following Brexit, and assuming that a post-Brexit relationship between the EU and the UK does not involve UK participation in the CCP as a means for participating in the Internal Market, the UK can negotiate in its own trade agreements with non-member states and put in place trade arrangements with the EU following its withdrawal (assuming Brexit proceeds).  As such, the UK Government has already suggested that discussions will take place on a new free trade deal with China – which has never had a free trade agreement with any EU country.  Further, Commonwealth countries, such as Canada, Australia, India and Singapore, have also expressed interest in negotiating trade agreements with the UK.