Update on the negotiations of a rollover Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and Mozambique and the United Kingdom (UK)

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Tralac | 13 February 2019

Update on the negotiations of a rollover Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and Mozambique and the United Kingdom (UK)

  • Context

• June 2016 : UK voted to leave the EU

• 29 March 2017 : UK invoked EU Treaty Article 50 - 2 years to negotiate its future relationship with the EU

• Withdrawal Agreement accepted by EU, and by UK Cabinet
–Includes transitional/implementation period of 21 months ; not applicable in the event that no Withdrawal Agreement is reached
–During this period UK will continue to benefit from EU Agreements but loses decision making power ; it can conclude Trade Agreements

• Prime Minister May could not yet secure UK House of Commons approval for the Withdrawal Agreement
–Border between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland : if no agreement found by 31 Dec 2020, UK can invoke “back-stop” = remain in a customs union with EU for undefined period
–But UK wants guarantee of the independence and autonomy of UK trade policy (reality : independent trade policy incompatible with customs union)

• Prime Minister May mandated to re-negotiate ; EU indicating that it will not re-open

Read full document (pdf)

source: Tralac