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Various interesting and/or useful links.

Negotiating documents on Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom



IndexMundi contains detailed country statistics, charts, and maps compiled from multiple sources. You can explore and analyze thousands of indicators organized by region, country, topic, industry sector, and type.


Examining the UK’s relationship with the EU

Following on from a 2010 election and Coalition Government pledge to ‘repatriate’ EU competences to the UK, in July 2012 the Government launched a Review of the Balance of Competences, which it described as “an audit of what the EU does and how it affects the UK”


World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The WTO, which was established in 1995, and its predecessor organization the GATT have helped to create a strong and prosperous international trading system. It currently has 162 members. The UK has been a WTO member since 1 January 1995 and a member of GATT since 1 January 1948. All EU member States are WTO members, as is the EU in its own right.

Information about the WTO can be found at

Brexit and the World Trade Organization

An article, by Gregory Messenger – a Lecturer in Law at the University of Liverpool, which discusses the consequences from a World Trade Organization (WTO) perspective if the UK were to leave the EU.


European Commission – Departments and Services

The Commission is divided into several departments and services. The departments are known as Directorate-Generals (DGs). This page has links to the various departments.


Information provided by the EU

The EU is active in a wide range of area, from human rights to transport and trade.

Useful links providing information on these topics can be found at


UK in a Changing Europe

The UK in a Changing Europe initiative is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and based at King’s College London. The Initiative explores the key aspects of UK and EU dynamics. Their website provides a wealth of information exploring numerous issues which may affect how you decide to vote.


They have also produced a useful document, in conjunction with Full Fact the UK’s independent fact checking organisation, to provide impartial information on claims made by both the Remain and Leave campaigns on various topics

Leave/Remain: The Facts behind the claims

Full Fact

Full Fact is the UK’s independent, non-partisan, factchecking charity. It checks claims made by politicians, the media, pressure groups, and other voices in public debate, and pushes for corrections where necessary.



The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) provides informed, independent and practical legal ideas for a global community.

British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL).

Comments on Brexit



Seven Brexit Endgame Scenarios – A guide to the parliamentary process of withdrawal from the European Union (pdf)

Fake News, Misinformation, & Fact-Checking

Fake news and mis-information is used to sway public opinion and is based on information which may not be correct. News can also be “twisted” to support the argument being presented which can be more damaging – this is when the whole story has not been outlined with portions being omitted.

Ohio University provides the Guide to Misinformation and Fact-Checking to help prevent the spread of misinformation.

The best way to counter fake news is to conduct your own research. Through this guide, you’ll learn the basics about misinformation and fake news, how to evaluate sources of information, where to find reputable information, and where to look for fact-checking tools.

The EU – A brief guide

Extracted from


where you can also find a brief history and a glossary of terms used in the EU.

The European Union, which succeeded the European Community, was established by the EU Treaties.

The parties to the treaties are the Member States of the EU.

Under the treaties the Member States confer competences on the EU – such as the power to adopt legislation. The EU can only act within the limits of its competences.

The EU has a number of institutions, such as the European Council, the Council of Ministers, the European Commission and the European Parliament. Acting together or separately, these institutions pass laws (such as regulations, directives or decisions), which may take effect automatically in the UK’s legal systems or require the UK to pass national legislation to give effect to the EU laws.

The UK may also be affected by the treaties themselves, which may restrict what the UK can do, for example, restricting the UK’s power to limit imports from other Member States.

The Court of Justice of the European Union interprets the treaties and the laws which the EU passes and decides if Member States have abided by them.

There are two key EU treaties, which have been amended several times.

They are the Treaty on the European Union (‘TEU’, originally the Maastricht Treaty), and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’, originally called the Treaty of Rome). The treaties are effective in the UK by virtue of the European Communities Act 1972, as amended.

The full text of the Maastricht Treaty can be found on the EU web-site at


The European Economic Community was established in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, and became the European Community (EC) in 1967. The Treaty of Rome gave the Community a number of tasks including establishing a common market and progressively approximating the economic policies of the Member States. The United Kingdom joined the Community in 1973, and confirmed that decision in a UK-wide referendum in 1975.

In 1986, the Single European Act made further provision for the establishment of the common market, now referred to as the ‘internal market’, and defined as an area without internal frontiers, in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured. The Single Market Act also added a number of new policy areas to the Community’s competence, including, for example, a specific environmental competence. The Maastricht Treaty followed in 1993. This treaty established the European Union, which had a three pillar structure, with the European Community being the first pillar, the common foreign and security policy the second pillar and justice and home affairs (covering immigration and asylum, civil judicial cooperation and police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters) the third pillar. Further changes were made by the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) and the Treaty of Nice (2000), including to the competences of the Union.

The EU entered a period of expansion, reaching 28 Member States by 2013. This prompted calls for a new Treaty. After long discussion, the Lisbon treaty was signed in 2007. This treaty renamed and amended the original treaties, collapsed the three pillar system into a single European Union, and incorporated the Charter of Fundamental Rights into the EU Treaties.

EU Trade with non-EU countries (2015)

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The EU trades with most countries in the world and this is worth a total of 3,513,929 Million Euro (3.5 Trillion), based on figures for 2015.

The following breakdown shows the value of the trade between the EU non-EU countries. It does not include the figures for internal trade between the 28 EU countries.

The top 10 trading partners accounted for 62.96% of the total EU trade.

2 of the top 10 countries that the EU trades with are Norway and Switzerland with a total value of € 376 Billion or 10.7% of the total trade

Total EU Trade Table

Figure 1 – Total EU Trade with non-EU countries (table)

Total EU Trade Chart

Figure 2 – Total Trade with non-EU countries (chart)

Exploring these figures further shows that Imports to the EU from non-EU countries totalled 1,724,867 Million Euro (1.7 Trillion Euro). The top 10 trading partners accounted for 66.23% of the total and goods totalling € 176 Billion Euro, or 10.24% of the total goods imported came from Norway and Switzerland.

EU Imports Table

Figure 3 – Total Imports to the EU from non-EU countries (table)

EU Imports Chart

Figure 4 – Total Imports to the EU from non-EU countries (chart)

Exports from the EU to non-EU countries totalled €1,789,063 Million Euro (€1.8 Trillion Euro). The top 10 trading partners accounted for 66.23% of the total and goods totalling almost €200 Billion Euro, or 11.16% of the total were exported to Norway and Switzerland

EU Exports Table

Figure 5 – Total Exports from the EU to non-EU countries (table)

EU Exports Chart

Figure 6 – Total Exports from the EU to non-EU countries (chart)






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The creation of a single European economic area based on a Common Market was a fundamental objective of the Treaty of Rome.

Today, the EU is the largest economy in the world. It is the worlds biggest exporter of manufactured goods and has the worlds largest single market area of more than 500 million consumers.

The EU is responsible for the trade policy of its member countries and negotiates trade agreements, based on World Trade Organisation rules, on their behalf. This means that no individual member government can negotiate a bilateral trade agreement with a non-EU partner.

UK/EU Trading Feb 2016

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The UK has strong trading links with countries in the EU. This makes the EU an important market for the UK and also makes the UK an important market for the EU.

I’ve used the latest Overseas Trade Statistics from February 2016 as a snapshot to understand the UKs trading position with the EU. These statistics show that the UK is a net importer of goods from the EU.

In February 2016, the UK exported goods to the EU worth £11.2bn and imported goods from the EU worth £19.4bn .

Overall, in February 2016, trade with Europe accounts for 46% of exports from the UK and 55% of the imports to the UK.

What is also apparent is that UK Trade exports are almost evenly split between the EU (46%) and non-EU countries (54%)

These monthly figures are within the ranges recorded over the last 18 months where the proportion of exports from the UK to the EU has been within the range from 38% to 48% and that of imports from the EU to the UK within the range from 51% to 55%

source: https://www.uktradeinfo.com a website managed by the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Trade Statistics unit

Overseas Trade Statistics

According to recent (provisional) figures from UKTradeInfo , a website managed by HM Revenue & Customs, the value of exports from the UK in February 2016 was £24.1 billion with imports of £35.2 billion resulting in the UK being a net importer of goods to the value of £11.1 billion.


These figures can be split between EU and non-EU countries

non-EU exports £12.9 billion
non-EU imports £15.8 billion

which indicates the UK to be a net importer of goods from non-EU countries with imports exceeding exports by £2.9 billion

EU exports £11.2 billion
EU imports £19.4 billion

which indicates the UK to be a net importer of goods from the EU with imports exceeding exports by £8.2 billion

The figures also show that in February 2016, the proportion of exports to the EU was %46 (54% non-EU), with imports of 55% (45% non-EU).

Other figures from the HM Revenue and Customs web-site indicate that over the last 18 months the proportion of exports to the EU has been within the range from 38% to 48% and that of imports within the range from 51% to 55%

Top 5 Partners trading with the UK (Feb 2016)
Exports from the UK
  1. USA £3.5bn
  2. Germany £2.8bn
  3. France £1.5bn
  4. Netherlands £1.3bn
  5. Republic of Ireland £1.3bn
Imports to the UK
  1. Germany £5.3bn
  2. China £2.9bn
  3. USA £2.9bn
  4. Netherlands £2.9bn
  5. France £2.3bn

A summary of the UK Overseas Trade Statistic (OTS) for Febrary 2016 is available at


There also breakdowns of the actual goods being imported and exported available from the page