Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Assistant Professor of European Studies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD Candidate of British Studies, University of Tehran,Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Since the United Kingdom’s vote for exit from the European Union - i.e. Brexit (June 2016), the proponents of the leave campaign have claimed that the idea of Global Britain will result in an independent trade policy, which can expand the UK’s trade geography and scope through striking free trade agreements (FTAs). This study aimed at examining this claim, first by looking at the official statistics on the signed FTAs, and then, by conducting semi-structured interviews with British stakeholders from different social groups in order to see Global Britain's future potentials. The findings from this qualitative-quantitative approach revealed that the possible gains from the post-Brexit FTAs will only manifest in the long run and in some sectors. Furthermore, the prospects of an independent trade policy will be constrained by the UK’s need to align with the EU standards and the unclear future of the FTAs with major economies like the US. Thus, as the theoretical framework of economic geography suggests, British trade relations will still depend on geographical proximity, and will not be shifted drastically by the idea of Global Britain; an idea which seems to serve as a strategy to positively portray Brexit for the domestic and international businesses and people.

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