Government completes trade deal impact assessment review, pledging environment gains in future deals

Wed 2 Feb 2022
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

trade modelling

The government is considering how it looks at the environmental impact of its post-Brexit trade deals following a report from the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC).

The government has already carried out environmental impact assessments of the trade deals it has secured since departing the EU, according to the Independent.

This has involved looking at the impact of agreements on greenhouse gas emissions, air and water quality, and biodiversity.

Improvement

Going forwards, it will look to ensure it secures deals that actively improve the environment in the party nations.

“The Secretary of State for International Trade will work closely with other government departments to assess the environmental impacts of new FTAs, and to improve their coverage and approach,” it added.

Embedding protection

EAC chair Philip Dunne said he was “very pleased” to see the government accepting some of his report’s suggestions.

“Embedding nature protection in trade agreements not only safeguards biodiversity, but it sends a striking message to trading partners that this must be prioritised,” he said in Tech Register.

Modelling review

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has also completed a review of the economic modelling it uses when assessing the impact of the UK’s future trade deals.

The review was launched in 2020 with the stated aim of enhancing the department’s “trade negotiation capability”.

New factors

Professor Tony Venables, who led the review, has recommended the DIT’s core modelling approach is developed to accommodate new factors such as the environmental impact of deals.

Other recommendations include developing an ability to ‘zoom-in’ on sectors where the UK has comparative advantage and ensuring assessments are presented in as transparent and clear a way as possible.

Israel trade deal latest

Trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan is launching a consultation on a new UK-Israel trade deal during a three-day trip to the country.

The eight-week consultation will seek the views of business and the public ahead of trade negotiations starting later this year.

The UK is Israel’s third largest trading partner, with £2.7 billion worth of British exports going there in 2020 and an overall trade relationship worth £4.8 billion.