The government issued a technical opinion on existing trade agreements in the absence of an agreement in October 2018. If there were no replacement agreements on the withdrawal date, the terms of the World Trade Organization (WTO) would apply to the most favoured nation (MFN), with all WTO members having to have the same tariffs applied in the absence of a free trade agreement. The UK trade agreement with Switzerland contains elements of the EU-Switzerland MRA. The UK has left the EU. The withdrawal agreement sets out how the UK can continue to ignore trade agreements between the EU and third countries until 31 December 2020. 1) Source of trade statistics: ONS UK Total trade: all countries, not seasonally adjusted April to June 2020. Thornberry said that while Truss had promised that the agreements would be shared confidentially with the House of Commons International Trade Committee, this was not the case in the current agreements with Ukraine, Côte d`Ivoire and Kenya and that the 15 outstanding examples are now impossible. In the absence of a continuity agreement, trade with these countries would return to less favourable terms of the World Trade Organization. 3) The United Kingdom signed a trade agreement with Iceland and Norway on 2 April 2019. The agreement was signed to maintain continued trade and was part of preparations for a possible „no deal“ Brexit. It will not come into force. The UK`s future relations with these countries are influenced by their relations with the EU, as they are EEA member states.
We will continue to work with Iceland and Norway to determine the most effective method of maintaining and strengthening trade with them beyond the transition period. The VA also contains a protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland providing for a „backstop“ that would leave the UK in a „single customs territory“ with the EU at the end of the transition period, unless a new agreement on future relations between the UK and the EU has come into force, guaranteeing the absence of border controls between Northern Ireland and Ireland. This is partly due to the temporary tariff regime between the UK and the EU, proposed by the government in a technical communication in June 2018. The June proposal proposed that further technical discussions with the EU be needed to find a common solution to ensure that the UK is able to fully implement the EU`s common external tariffs and allow the UK to continue to benefit from existing free trade agreements or new EU free trade agreements signed during this period.