Resolution Foundation

Trading Up

The role of the post-Brexit trade approach in the UK’s economic strategy

After nearly half a century of EU membership, Britain needs a trade strategy. The stakes are high: such a strategy shapes what families and firms buy from abroad, and what gets produced domestically; influences our jobs, productivity levels and, ultimately, living standards; and contributes a major plank of Britain’s international policy at a time of heightened geopolitical tensions. This report, part of the Economy 2030 Inquiry, sets out what a successful trade strategy should look like, harnessing trade as an engine for UK growth, while being highly integrated with domestic policy, but recognising the constraints implied by the global and domestic context. 

This report finds that the UK’s initial post-Brexit trade plan has run out road and must be replaced with a far more ambitious twin-track trade strategy that protects high-value manufacturing while seeking out new markets for our world-leading services sector. That means a defensive approach on goods that protects high value added manufacturing firms struggling to retain their place in European supply chains; and an expansive approach on services that ensures the UK benefits from the global services trade tailwinds. 


For all research queries about this report, please contact Sophie Hale. For press queries, please contact the Resolution Foundation press office.

Sophie Hale
Principal Economist,
Resolution Foundation
Email Sophie