What is a free trade agreement?
Free trade agreements reduce barriers to trade between two or more countries by reducing or eliminating tariffs and import quotas. Members of such agreements are still able to negotiate separate trade deals with other countries. These agreements are permitted under WTO rules, despite offering preferential access to partner countries and not all WTO members. The UK wants a free trade agreement with the EU, which it says should be based on precedents of earlier free trade agreements that the EU has agreed with Canada, Japan and South Korea. The UK is also seeking to rollover free trade agreements it currently enjoys through its membership of the EU, which will otherwise terminate at the end of the transition period, and to conclude new agreements with countries including the US, Australia and New Zealand.