Trade policy post-Brexit

Credit: Mahdi Abdulrazak/Flickr

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union in 2016 created an urgent need for research to inform the development of an independent UK trade policy, and for research to help build trade policy capacity.

Meredith Crowley’s research brings together deep economic, institutional and legal knowledge about the details of how trade policy is conducted and negotiated in practice under the constraints imposed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) with timely research on exporters’ response to trade policy uncertainty.

She used her research and expertise to support the building of essential trade policy capacity in Whitehall. She explored the functioning of trade agreements and the details of trade policy in the world trading system to address questions about contemporary trade policy that are essential building blocks for designing policy.

She also provided the research evidence for backing the creation of an independent Trade Remedies Authority that has been enshrined into the Trade Bill (2017–2019 and 2019–2021), allowing the UK to minimise the economic cost of future trade shocks by enabling temporary tariffs without breaking WTO rules.

Crowley also made policy recommendations designed to preserve animal welfare standards in food production for imports, which were included in the National Food Strategy (July 2020).

“[Crowley’s] research-based assessments came at a crucial time in the development of UK trade policy post-Brexit and her contribution has been significant.”

– Chief Economist, Department for International Trade