The World Trade Organization (WTO)
How complaining about something in the WTO actually works (August 27)
People love to invoke the wrath of the WTO, but not everyone knows what breaching the rules means in practice. This is a long thread walking through it all, step by step.
Why NZ blocked the UK's WTO Goods Schedule, and why that's no big deal (July 29)
The UK submitted their draft WTO Goods Schedule for certification, and it was promptly blocked. I explain why and what it means. Spoiler: Not a lot.
Why the agriculture side of trade keeps starting fights (July 27)
The EU and US had just declared trade peace, but it was already looking shaky because of agriculture. This thread looks into why agriculture is so often the 3rd rail of trade talks.
So, what is the WTO anyway? (June 22)
With President Trump tweeting suggestions the US may quit it, I thought the moment ripe to share some basic facts about the World Trade Organization.
What could a No-Deal mean for the UK sheepmeat sector? Spoiler: It’s bad (January 7)
The EU has a high level of protection for sheep and lamb, I explain how UK producers could find themselves locked out of their only export market overnight.
Why ‘who funds you?’ is not an unreasonable thing to ask a think tank (December 29)
I venture part way out of my lane to discuss how think tanks interact with the modern media landscape, and why their motivations are worth understanding.
Why Article XXIV (24) of the WTO doesn’t mean 10 years EU free trade (December 22)
I push back on one of the most consistently false statements about Brexit. That there exists a WTO rule which means trade will be unaffected by Brexit for up to 10 years.
Analysis of the JCB CEO’s letter on why he doesn’t No-Deal Brexit (December 21)
Short version: the experiences of a multi-billion dollar construction equipment company manufacturing globally may not translate to every small business in the United Kingdom.
Shankar Singham’s article in The Sun about No-Deal being fine (December 18)
Mr Singham thinks No-Deal should be fine. He says so in this article. I go through it line by line and find more than a few reasons to be skeptical of his reasoning.
“The UK Trades with China Just fine on WTO Terms” - Or does it? (December 18)
I examine the composition of UK-Chinese trade to demonstrate why assurances of WTO rules sufficiency are overstated.
Another day, another “No-Deal Will Be Totes Great” article to dissect (December 3)
With a weary sigh of resignation, I go line by line through Priti Patel’s efforts in the Financial Times. I find little new, and much objectionable.
I fact check the IEA’s No-Deal Brexit Port Chaos Fear-Checker (November 27)
The IEA put out a ‘Fear-Checker’ on the potential for disruptions at British ports as a result of No-Deal Brexit. It’s not exactly bulletproof analysis.
The ERG’s Proposal for Canada++++ is not serious (November 18)
The European Research Group proposed a Canada++++ model, but the paper they’ve put out to support it utterly fails to make an evidence or reality based case.
Why I'm skeptical the UK can move the EU by negotiating with others (September 11)
Some commentators have argued in the press the UK could have pushed the EU to make concessions by launching FTA talks with others. I explain why that would be tricky.
What No-Deal Brexit may mean for exporting to non-EU destinations (August 20)
A No-Deal Brexit could impact businesses even if all their clients are outside of Europe. I provide some suggestions on preparedness. Also read: @AnnaJerzewska's comments.
I can't sleep, someone is wrong about WTO-Only on the internet (August 14)
I ask a series of questions, to probe some of the bolder assertions made in yet another BrexitCentral article claiming the WTO-Only option will be just fine.
Brexit Preparedness for UK Businesses: Measuring Risks, Taking Steps (August 13)
Some suggestions for how businesses can consider the risks of a No-Deal scenario and steps they can take to prepare.
What the EU is saying No-Deal Brexit will mean for cars and trucks (August 8)
Paragraph by paragraph, this thread looks at the EU Article 50 Preparedness Notice for Road Transport and lays out what its implementation would mean for UK citizens.
Why Free Trade Agreements are easier said than signed (August 7)
A short (by my standards) explanation of why it can be so hard to win truly significant concessions in a Free Trade Agreement negotiation.
Why the UK's WTO situation is nothing like an Accession (August 7)
I gently correct LBC Radio host Mr James O'Brian on why the length of time it took some countries to join the WTO has nothing to do with the UK's post-Brexit WTO status.
Why WTO law won't prevent disruption in no-deal Brexit (August 4)
I am inexcusably rude in responding to a Prof. Collins article about the UK falling back on WTO rules in the event of a No-Deal Brexit.
Rate of trade growth versus level of trade importance (August 3)
This thread tries to explain why the EU's more rapidly growing trade with countries beyond its borders doesn't mean what some would have you believe.
Questions to ask a WTO-Only Brexit advocate who isn't panicking (July 31)
I suggest some questions one could ask to tease out just how those putting their full faith in the WTO rules envisage those rules preventing disruption in the event of No-Deal Brexit.
Risks of No-Deal Brexit, amateurishly ranked by scariness (July 31)
Bloomberg Business correspondent Mr Bryce Baschuk asks me to rate what I see as some of the most impactful disruptions which could occur in a No-Deal Brexit. I do my best.
Why is Brexit complicated? (July 10)
A long thread talking through why Brexit negotiations are such a difficult circle to square and suggesting some questions to ask those trying to fudge it.
Disclaimer: Tweet nine on the UK's migration rules under the EU is incorrect.
Trade Wars are stupid but not as stupid as Trade Wars to boost 'iconic' industries (May 24)
Here, at the start of the 2018 Trade War, I look at the dangers of political obsession with iconic manufacturing.
VER's - Congratulations you found something worse than tariffs (May 1)
With the US pushing for them in its trade war, I explain why the economics nerd in your life starts breaking things at the mere mention of voluntary export restrictions.
How do trade agreements deal with trade in services? (November 27)
A great question prompts this thread on how trade agreements handle trade in services, which are of course not subject to tariffs.
Gauging political winds when negotiating with autocratic states (September 10)
I talk about the role diplomats and embassies have in helping negotiating teams puzzle out the strength of domestic feeling behind their opposite number's positions.
How to look up what tariffs the EU actually charges (August 29)
I walk step by step through how to use the nifty EU Tariff Calculator to look up the tariffs on any product from any country. There are pictures.
Cutting through the promises around leaving a Customs Union (August 22)
Some wild promises are being made about what leaving the Customs Union will do to supermarket prices and in terms of trade agreement negotiating coin. I have questions.
Why trust matters in trade negotiations - your friends behind their lines (July 23)
I explain the often cited but poorly understood truism that trust is pivotal to successfully concluding a trade agreement.
Why trade negotiations take time - it ain't just about the final hours (July 20)
A short thread on why while the biggest issues in a trade negotiations are often decided at the eleventh hour, the preceding four hundred hours matter too.