Following its official exit from the European Union on 31 January 2020, the UK is gearing up to launch an aggressive trade negotiation strategy with State partners around the world. Yet in addition to traditional trade provisions, modern comprehensive free trade agreements (FTAs) like the CETA or CPTPP regularly include international investment protection and related dispute resolution. What will or should UK investment protection policy look like as part of its FTA negotiation strategy, post-Brexit?
The UK will officially be a "third party", rendering emerging rules against intra-EU bilateral investment protection inapplicable. UK political leaders are calling for regulatory divergence between the UK and the EU-27. This seems destined to lead to regulatory clashes between the EU and UK-based businesses investing on the Continent. Should investment protection therefore be part of UK negotiating aims with the EU?
Beyond the EU, what should the UK's investment protection policy be vis-a-vis the US? With other potential FTA partners? Will the UK have a choice in these discussions? What will be the UK's position be on the proposed investment court system, and more generally on current calls for investment treaty reform? Should the UK's dense network of first generation investment treaties be renegotiated and updated to reflect lessons learned over the past 20 years?
In keeping with government calls for an outward-looking "Global Britain", should UK investment policy prioritise protecting UK investors abroad, as opposed to safeguarding the policy space of the UK itself?
Prof. Yarik Kryvoi, British Institute of International and Comparative Law
- Christophe Bondy, Steptoe & Johnson (chair)
- Professor Ming Du, Durham University
- Nicolaj Kuplewatzky, European Commission
- Laura Rees Evans, Fietta LLP
- Yumiko Takahashi, Steptoe & Johnson
See also: Andrea Bjorklund, Yarik Kryvoi and Jean-Michel Marcoux, Investment Promotion and Protection in the Canada-UK Trade Relationship (Nov 18, 2018).
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