Reshaping the EU-China and China-UK Trade Relations after Brexit


  • Der-Chin Horng Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica, Taiwan



Brexit, EU, Global Britain, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), Free Trade Agreement (FTA)


The national referendum, held on June 23, 2016, in the UK, resulted in a 51.9% vote to exit the EU. Brexit (British Exit) has strongly impacted EU-UK relations and China-EU and China-UK relations. China has already become the second-largest economy globally since 2010, functioning as the world’s factory and the world’s marketplace. Both the EU and the UK are focused on strengthening their post-Brexit trade relations with China. The EU and China have concluded a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) in 2020.
The UK has adopted a “Global Britain” policy and will negotiate free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries. Whether China signs a CAI or an FTA with them or not, both the EU and the UK are focused on the importance of such agreements with China. China will be a beneficiary of Brexit. The changes and impacts which Brexit will bring for UK-EU, China-EU, and China-UK relations are only the beginning. Re-adjustment is indeed needed in order to reach new and cooperative relationships. All this rebalancing will require hard work and political will from all parties - China, the UK, and the EU.
This paper will examine the impact of Brexit on China-EU and on China-UK trade relations and the opportunities and challenges that Brexit will afford to China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative, among other key issues. Suppose China joins the EU and UK in upholding WTO multilateralism. In that case, China is expected to become an essential pillar of the international trade system and make a significant contribution to international economic growth and the common well-being of humanity.


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How to Cite

Horng, D.-C. (2022). Reshaping the EU-China and China-UK Trade Relations after Brexit. Journal Transition Studies Review, 29(1), 97-108.