Wilhelm Kohler, Gernot Müller, 08 November 2017

The EU’s position in the Brexit negotiations is based on the premise that the four freedoms of the single market – goods, capital, services, and labour – are indivisible. This column argues that this indivisibility claim has no economic foundations, and that negotiating on this premise risks unnecessary harm. Reintroducing trade barriers will inflict damage on both sides of the Channel. The possibility that abandoning indivisibility may cause harm through cherry picking, or through potential further exits, doesn’t justify a hard Brexit scenario.

Robert Baldwin, 11 March 2009

The WTO talks broke down last year over a highly technical issue – the Special Safeguard Mechanism in agriculture. This column highlights a flaw in the proposed mechanism. It also argues that fear of a retaliatory process in today’s recessionary climate should drive leading developed and developing trading countries to negotiate new rules aimed at preventing such an outcome. Within this larger framework, the technical sticking points holding up Doha negotiations may be settled quickly.

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