Fact sheets, Vietnamese trade in your city, texts of agreements, stories of exporters Discussions between the EU and the UK are under way to reach a free trade agreement after Brexit before the end of the year. A free trade agreement aims to promote trade – usually with goods, but also sometimes with services – by making it cheaper. This is often achieved by reducing or eliminating so-called tariffs – taxes or taxes on cross-border trade. The aim of this InBrief series is to provide a summary of the chapters of the ten free trade agreements recently concluded by the European Union with developing countries, as well as, if necessary, other relevant trade agreements. Each letter provides a detailed and schematic overview of a number of trade and trade provisions of these agreements. The UK and THE EU are negotiating a trade deal that is expected to start on 1 January 2021, when the new UK-EU relationship will begin. The UK government is also conducting trade negotiations with countries that do not currently have trade agreements with the EU, such as the United States, Australia and New Zealand. What does Brexit mean for the eu-free trade agreement negotiations between the EU and the NZ? The European Court of Justice has ruled that the provisions relating to arbitration between the investor state (including a special tribunal under some free trade agreements) fall within the shared jurisdiction between the European Union and its Member States and that, for this reason, their ratification should be authorised by both the EU and each of the 28 Member States.  If the UK were to act in accordance with WTO rules, tariffs would be applied to most of the products that British companies ship to the EU. This would make British goods more expensive and more difficult to sell in Europe. The UK could also do so for EU products if it so wishes. The European Union negotiates free trade agreements on behalf of all its member states, as EU member states have granted “exclusive jurisdiction” to conclude trade agreements.
Nevertheless, the governments of the Member States control every step of the process (through the Council of the European Union, whose members are the national ministers of each national government). The European Commission reports annually on the implementation of its main trade agreements in the previous calendar year. The EU has free trade agreements with countries around the world. Beyond the usual chapter of preferential tariff treatment, these agreements often contain trade facilitation and agreement clauses in areas such as investment, intellectual property, public procurement, technical standards, and health and plant health issues.