We reported recently on what will happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit if the UK has not managed to conclude its own deals with the countries that it currently trades with under the terms of EU agreements (see Trading under WTO rules).

The question remains, therefore, which countries have agreed to bilateral trade deals with the UK?

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has published an up-to-date list at GOV.UK.

This gives details of trade agreements that have been signed and those which are still under discussion.

Among the former are: the Andean countries; Chile; the Faroe Islands; the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) trade bloc; Iceland and Norway; Israel; Liechtenstein; the Palestinian Authority; and Switzerland.

In addition, a deal with South Korea has been agreed in principle and is expected to be signed shortly.

Among the countries where the UK will have to trade under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, as no bilateral agreement with them is yet in place, are: Canada; Egypt; Lebanon; Mexico; Morocco; Turkey; and the Southern Africa Customs Union (Botswana, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa) and Mozambique.

Meanwhile, Australia, New Zealand and the United States have signed mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) and discussions with Japan are ongoing although they will not be completed before exit day.

An MRA is one in which countries recognise one another’s conformity assessments. When these are applied to products, they are tested to an established performance standard. Inspections, quality management, surveillance, accreditation and declarations of conformity also take place.

Last reviewed 29 August 2019