International trade

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on international trade. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

26.05.2016Trade: Key Economic Indicators
Latest statistics on UK's trade performance and balance of payments.
24.05.2016Geographical pattern of UK trade
This note looks at the UK's trade with its main trading partners.
13.04.2016In brief: UK-EU economic relations
This note sets out, in brief, some of the main indicators of the UK's economic relationship with the EU, including trade, investment, employment and the UK's contribution to the EU Budget.
10.03.2016British Summer Time
For a number of years there have been calls to change clock times in the UK, so that more daylight would be experienced in the evenings rather than mornings throughout the year. The issue continues to be regularly raised in Parliament. This Briefing Paper provides an overview of the pros and cons of British Summer Time and proposals for further changes to clock times. It also summarises recent legislative attempts to change clock times in the UK.
02.03.2016CETA: the EU-Canada free trade agreement
This note provides details about CETA, the Comprehensive Trade and Economic Partnership. This is a free trade agreement between the EU and Canada.
12.02.2016EU referendum: impact of an EU exit in key UK policy areas
This paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers how it might change if the UK left the EU: would UK citizens benefit? This would depend on how the Government filled any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
04.12.2015The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
A briefing on the background, negotiation process and controversial points of the proposed EU-US free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
13.11.2015Statistics on UK trade with China
China is one of the UK's largest trading partners. This note gives some key statistics on UK-China trade.
19.05.2015Key Issues for the 2015 Parliament
This book examines the key issues facing the House of Commons over the course of the 2015 Parliament - from the public finances to the UK's membership of the EU and from school places for children to climate change.
08.05.2015UK Arms Export Control Policy
This briefing provides an overview of the development of the UK's legal and regulatory framework for arms exports since 1997. Controversy about UK arms exports to countries involved in the Arab Spring led to changes in how the control regime operates in relation to exports that might be used for internal repression. UK ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty in April 2014 has required amendment of secondary legislation and an updating of the Consolidated Criteria, on which official decisions about whether to approve or refuse an export licence are based. Concerns have been raised that the revised version of the Criteria, published in March 2014, is weaker than the 2000 original and that this has opened the way for a relaxation in UK arms export control policy. The previous Government denied that this had occurred.

Lords Library Notes

20.01.2016Work of the Ad Hoc Committees in 2013-14
This House of Lords Library briefing provides an overview of the work of the five ad hoc Lords Select Committees which reported in the 2013-14 session.
28.11.2014Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill (HL Bill 57 of session 2014-15)
This Library Note provides background reading ahead of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords on 2 December 2014.
07.06.2013Debate on 13 June: Government's Priorities at the G8
This Library Note provides background information about the Prime Minister's stated priorities for the G8 meeting to be held in Northern Ireland on 17-18 June: advancing trade, improving tax compliance and promoting greater transparency.
29.06.2012Debate on 5 July: The International Competitiveness of UK Industry, Exporting to Global Markets and Attracting Inward Investment
This Library Note provides background reading for the debate on 5 July on the international competitiveness of UK industry, exports and attracting inward investment.


08.08.2014Alternative Currencies
This POSTnote outlines the different types and aims of these currencies. It also sets out how alternative currencies are being used and highlights regulatory and policy challenges regarding consumer protection, financial crime and taxation and benefits.

Select Committee Reports

15.12.2011Government response to the ninth report from the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on UK-Brazil relations....
Government response. Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Foreign Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
11.10.2011UK-Brazil relations.
Foreign Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
19.07.2011Trade and investment: China.
Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee report [Commons]
29.03.2011Re-launching the single market.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
23.03.2010Exporting out of recession.
Government response. Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House notes that the EU and India aim to conclude a free trade agreement at their summit in Delhi in February, but that numerous expert non-governmental organisations have ...
That this House notes that Japan is one of the world's largest importers of tropical timber and that in 2008 Chatham House estimated the value of illegally-sourced wood products imported ...
That this House congratulatesEthical Consumer for its work exposing the poor ethical record of the companies being awarded contracts to run our public services; is deeply concerned ...
That this House supports the signing of an Economic Co-operation Agreement between the EU and Taiwan; notes the rapprochement between the two governments across the Taiwan Strait, which ...
That this House recognises that export is key to sustainable economic recovery in the UK; welcomes the findings of the DHL/BCC Trade Confidence Index Q2 2011 showing that, whilst UK ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses