The trade policies of Brexit Britain: the influence of and impacts on the devolved nations

David Eiser, Nicola McEwen, Graeme Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the extent to which the UK’s three devolved governments have sought and achieved influence on the UK Government’s evolving post-Brexit international trade policy, distinguishing their influence at key stages of the trade policy cycle (mandate, negotiations and implementation). Despite carrying the legal responsibility to implement those aspects of trade deals that fall within areas of devolved competence, the devolved governments’ attempts to secure meaningful influence on the UK’s trade agreements have largely been frustrated. This reflects a lack of trust between the devolved and UK governments, weaknesses in the framework for and operation of intergovernmental relations, and a strong desire of the UK government to retain control centrally wherever possible. The resulting tensions exacerbate more devolved governments’ concerns over the authority of the devolved institutions following Brexit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-48
Number of pages27
JournalEuropean Review of International Studies
Early online date7 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Apr 2021


  • Brexit
  • trade
  • devolution
  • inter-governmental relations
  • Scotland

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