UK ‘Taking Risks’ In Haste To Agree New Trade Deals, Audit Finds



John Basquill | Global Trade Review

The UK government’s rush to secure new trade agreements means it may not be doing enough to ensure companies can take advantage of deals already reached, according to an independent audit. 

A report published today by the National Audit Office (NAO), a public spending watchdog, says officials have made “significant progress” in running multiple trade negotiations at the same time. 

The Department for International Trade (DIT) had successfully transitioned 33 out of 39 existing agreements with non-EU partners by the end of 2020, covering 15.5% of UK trade that year, and has agreed three further deals since then. 

However, the audit office warns of “new and heightened risks to manage when progressing at such speed and intensity”. 

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