Government is right to continue Everything But Arms trade policy

Today, with the release of the UK Government's briefing paper on future customs arrangements the Adam Smith Institute welcomes the government's continued support post-Brexit of the EU's current Everything But Arms initiative with Least Developed Countries. But we can go even further.

Sam Bowman, Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute, says:

"It’s good news that the UK government had pledged to maintain the EU’s Everything But Arms and Generalised System of Preferences initiatives even after we leave the Customs Union. These give exporters in many of the world’s poorest countries duty-free and quota-free access to EU markets, preferential market access for many other developing countries’ exporters, and less strict rules of origin checks on goods. Free trade is one of the best tools we have to reduce poverty in the developing world and it is an encouraging sign that the UK has committed to maintaining openness to the world’s poorest producers.

"But we can go a lot further. Many more countries can be given full duty-free and quota-free access to the UK’s market once we leave the EU’s Customs Union, particularly countries that we are unlikely to agree trade deals with in the near future and countries that are not major export destinations for British businesses. Giving full duty- and quota-free access to exporters in places like Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Pakistan would drive economic development there and cut costs for British consumers here at trivial additional cost to the Exchequer. It would also help to prove to internationalist voters that Brexit really is about creating an open, free trading, globally-minded Britain."

To arrange an interview or to seek further comment please contact Matt Kilcoyne, via email ( or via mobile (07584778207).