Last week, ADS hosted two webinars with the Department of International Trade (DIT) as part of our Managing Brexit series to provide members with useful information as we start to look to the UK’s trading future.

Part One: Introduction to Free Trade Agreements

The first webinar focused on Free Trade Agreements and what these really mean for our sectors. Dora-Raluca Trofor, from the Policy Coherence and Coordination team, gave members an overview of what FTAs do, and which chapters can typically be found in an agreement. Other policy experts then informed members on how FTAs can complement WTO agreements, such as on Rules of Origin, Tariffs, and Customs.

Looking forward, the Department are seeking the input of businesses to help shape the trading world ADS members would like to see. Flynn Butterworth, a Senior Trade Policy Adviser on Japan, talked members through the UK’s FTA with Japan as an example of how DIT will seek to negotiate future agreements and we then heard from policy experts on Digital, Intellectual Property, and Customs provisions. Members can find a copy of the webinar here.

Part Two: DIT Policy Priorities and Future Planning

The second webinar introduced members to DIT’s wider policy interests and gave advice on how best to engage with the Department on policy issues going forward. We kicked off with policy experts who spoke about the areas trade agreements could cover in relation to Government procurement, as well as the UK’s existing international commitments on public procurement. Members were then informed that promoting UK innovation and foreign direct investment would be key priorities for the Government in future FTAs.

The second half of the webinar focused on DIT’s future planning. The Department is working with the business community to deliver market access through its various engagement groups, which it encouraged members to engage with. The webinar concluded with an update on the negotiations process for agreements with Canada, Mexico, and India. The Department keen to hear from members on any challenges or opportunities they foresee. Members can find a copy of the webinar here.

Next Steps and How to Engage

ADS has a strong relationship with DIT. Following our departure from the EU, this relationship will only become more important as the Government continues to build new trading relationships around the globe. Members can get in touch with DIT at or feed in questions through ADS. Members can also access recordings of both of webinars, plus all our previous ones in the Managing Brexit series, on our website here. Keep up to date on the UK’s latest trade agreements and negotiations on our Brexit hub.