Post-Brexit Britain in A World of Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs)

Muirhead Tower Room 112, University of Birmingham
Friday 24 February 2017 (09:00-18:00)

If you have any questions, please email the organising committee: Dr Rilka Dragneva-Lewers (, Dr Luca Rubini:, I-Ju Chen (


This conference has two goals. The first is to explore the important legal and political questions about the new role of the UK in the international trade context, and in particular with respect to the need to enter into several Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs), that a possible Brexit raises. The second objective is to broaden the view and discuss the state of the art in the PTAs world by considering both horizontal issues and specific issues.





Part I: Britain, Brexit and Beyond

  • Lorand Bartels (University of Cambridge)
  • Lilja Ólafsdóttir (Reykjavik University, former Legal Council at the EFTA Secretariat and negotiator for Iceland on FTAs and the EEA Agreement)
  • Robert Howse (New York University)


Coffee break


Part II: PTAs: The State of the Art

Horizontal issues: Legal Institutions, Disciplines, Political Economy 

  • Rafael Lima Sakr (LSE) - 'Rethinking Development in WTO: A Law and Development Framework for South-North Regional Trade Regimes'
  • Rilka Dragneva-Lewers (Birmingham) – The EU and its Association Agreements with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia’
  • Sohyun Lee (LSE) - 'Institutions and Variations in the FTA Negotiation Strategies: A Comparative Case Study of Korea and Japan'





Specific issues (I): Subsidies, Investment and Energy

  • Luca Rubini (Birmingham) – ‘Controlling subsidies in PTAs’
  • Ira Ryk-Lakhman (UCL) - 'Investment Dispute Settlement Mechanisms in New Generation FTAs: Problems and Opportunities'
  • Andrea Rocco (Birmingham) and Natasha Georgiou (Reading) - 'A Call for Energy Governance in EU-Russia Energy Relations: The Path Towards the Energy Union'


Coffee break




Specific issues (II): Labour and Environment

  • Maria-Anna Corvaglia (Birmingham) – ‘Labour Standards: The Swiss-China FTA’
  • Billy Melo Araujo (Queen's University Belfast) - 'Labour Standards in Mega-Regionals – why and how'
  • I-Ju Chen (Birmingham) - 'A Critical Analysis of the Environmental Provisions in PTAs in Asia-Pacific’
  • June Namgoong (UCL) - 'The Legal Obligations relating to ILO Instruments referred to in the Labour Chapter of US FTAs'


Closing session