With the departure of the UK from the European Union, there is potential for new trade relationships across the Commonwealth. There is also a great opportunity for extensive knowledge sharing, which will be of mutual benefit to all countries across the Commonwealth as the UK enters into a new era of negotiating and scrutinising unprecedented trade agreements. CPA UK has a crucial role in this by bringing Commonwealth Parliamentarians together to further build their relationships and develop their capacity in the area of international trade.

Trade specialists at the Commonwealth Secretariat formulated a fresh set of policy briefings since the UK’s decision to leave the European Union was made known in 2016.

Some of the benefits of this potential relationship moving forward include:

  • New bilateral deals between the UK and other interested Commonwealth members are possible
  • Members achieving improved trade logistics and facilitation measures
  • Making use of the scope of tariff rationalisation and tackling non-tariff barriers
  • Utilising the opportunities to develop regional supply chains in sectors where Commonwealth regions have comparative advantages
  • Exploiting the potential of strong and diverse diasporas to catalyse innovation
  • Investment and to bridge into new markets; and making use of the Commonwealth as a platform for establishing and strengthening contacts between traders and investors

CPA UK will be hosting a series of webinars, workshops, seminars and meetings in addition to publishing blog articles to facilitate this.


Recent Programmes

Trade Workshop for Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies, and Devolved Legislatures, Westminster, 7 - 9 February 2023

CPA UK organised a three-day trade workshop, the first since the UK exited the European Union, aiming to enhance effective scrutiny and oversight of international trade agreements. The workshop focused on the following themes: Knowledge building on trade; The role of parliamentarians in trade; and Scrutiny in practice. Participating legislature from the Overseas Territories included Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands and St. Helena. 

To read the Trade Workshop Final Report, click here.

The impact of Covid-19 on international trade: Looking at case studies in the UK & Africa, 25 June 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented impact on global international trade, presenting individuals around the Commonwealth with unique challenges and opportunities. Bringing together parliamentarians, representatives from business groups and trade experts, CPA UK organised a webinar on 25 June 2020 to explore this topic, focusing particularly on the UK and Africa.

Read more here

Westminster Workshop on Parliamentary Oversight of Trade Agreements, Westminster, 6-8 February 2019

From the 6-8th February, CPA UK hosted the Westminster Workshop on Parliamentary Oversight of Trade Agreements. This Workshop took place in the context of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the subsequent conversation of the UK’s future trade policy – and the possibility of reaching new trade agreements.

CPA UK welcomed parliamentarians and clerks to the UK Parliament from Commonwealth countries including New Zealand, Rwanda, Kenya & Pakistan.

Read more here

Previous Programmes

CPA UK hosts trade scrutiny event ahead of Trade Workshop, 22 January 2019

CPA UK was delighted to host an event in the UK Parliament entitled 'Shaping and Scrutinising Future Trade Policy', in conjunction with the International Trade Committee. The event focused on the findings of the Committee's new report UK Trade Policy Transparency and Scrutiny.

More information here

India - Study Visit by FICCI, Westminster, June 2018

On 27 June 2018, CPA UK hosted a delegation from the Indian Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for a one-day visit to the UK Parliament. The four Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, participated in the study visit through FICCI’s UK India Forum of Parliamentarians.

The programme on international affairs and trade included meetings with Select Committee Chairs and Members of both Houses. Interested in the UK’s future trading context, the delegates raised the status and progress of Brexit negotiations, and discussed the potential impact on UK-India trade with Angus MacNeil MP, Chair of the International Trade Committee. Visa issues, the role of the Commonwealth, and bilateral relations between the UK and India featured in a meeting with Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Tom Tugendhat MP and Committee Member Mike Gapes MP.

More information here

CPA UK Delegation to New Zealand, Wellington & Auckland, 6-15 April 2018

A bilateral programme saw the UK delegation engage with parliamentary colleagues, business, and civil society to discuss issues and challenges relevant to the UK and New Zealand. Some issues touched upon included: the current political situation and the approach to coalition and minority government; the impact of Brexit on UK-New Zealand relations; oversight of trade policy and the status of the Trans-Pacific Partnership; the trade and investment relationship; defence and security cooperation; New Zealand’s approach to domestic policy areas including environmental policy, disaster resilience, and immigration policy. The Pacific Islands Parliamentary Workshop followed the bilateral programme and provided an opportunity to engage with parliamentarians from ten Pacific Island countries on areas of mutual interest.

Westminster Workshop: Parliamentary Financial Oversight of Aid Effectiveness - Westminster, July 2017

This workshop sought to discuss the changing landscape of aid architecture and strengthen the knowledge and skills of parliamentarians and parliamentary officials in conducting effective financial oversight of aid flows. Ahead of the Second High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, the 6th Westminster Workshop sought to strengthen the voices of parliaments in becoming an integral stakeholder in aid management.