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Economy Economy

Lodge new UK schedules with the World Trade Organization

Last updated: 12:39pm 6 June 2019

We will ensure immediate stability by lodging new UK schedules with the World Trade Organization, in alignment with EU schedules to which we are bound whilst still a member of the European Union.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.15

Our verdict

As described on the World Trade Organization (WTO) website:

“WTO schedules are legal instruments that describe the treatment a member must provide to the trade of other WTO members. They are one of the main WTO tools to ensure transparency, security, and predictability for world trade.”

Schedules are decided on by means of negotiation between WTO members. Because the UK is in the process of leaving the European Union (EU), the government is required to propose this country’s own schedules as an independent WTO entity, separate from the EU. This policy is a promise to do just that.

In July 2018, the Secretary of State for International Trade announced that he had sent the proposed new UK schedule for goods to the WTO. On December 3rd 2018, it was announced that the same step had been taken for the UK’s services schedule.

This policy promises not only to submit the schedules, but also that they will be “in alignment with EU schedules”. So it is important to note the following claim from the government regarding the new schedules:

“These schedules replicate as far as possible the UK’s current obligations such as they exist in the EU’s schedules.”

The process of certification for the new schedules requires agreement from other WTO member states and there have been objections from several countries to the UK’s proposals.

We’ll keep tracking the certification process, but as the schedules have been lodged with the WTO and the government believes they align with the existing EU schedules, we’re marking this as ‘done’. Follow this policy for updates.

Lodge the details


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