Brexit, Trade and Agriculture: Waiting for Answers

16 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2017

See all articles by Joe McMahon

Joe McMahon

School of Law, University College Dublin

Date Written: December 4, 2017


The decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union has raised many questions, including some on the nature of the trading relationship that the United Kingdom will have with the European Union and third countries once it leaves the EU. For agriculture, the United Kingdom will need to develop its own agricultural policy as it will no longer be subject to the Common Agricultural Policy and one constraint on the development of that policy will be the Agreement on Agriculture concluded at the end of the Uruguay Round negotiations. This article examines the three pillars of that Agreement – market access, domestic support and export competition – to determine the commitments which the United Kingdom may make in each pillar and then looks at two other relevant agreements, the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, to complete the discussion of the scope of the United Kingdom’s nascent agricultural policy. Thereafter there is a discussion of the possible principles on which that policy will be based. The paper argues that although a great number of questions have been raised by Brexit, not many answers have yet emerged.

Keywords: Brexit, Trade, Agriculture, UK, European Union, Common Agricultural Policy

Suggested Citation

McMahon, Joseph, Brexit, Trade and Agriculture: Waiting for Answers (December 4, 2017). UCD Working Papers in Law, Criminology & Socio-Legal Studies Research Paper No. 20/17, Available at SSRN: or

Joseph McMahon (Contact Author)

School of Law, University College Dublin ( email )

Dublin 4

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