Last month’s vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union gives control over trade policy back to British officials, who are now faced with the difficult task of creating new domestic institutions and formulating trade and other international economic policies.

Some of their immediate work is obvious. The UK must negotiate a new economic relationship with Europe, both with the EU and with non-EU countries. The UK’s relationship with the EU could be along the lines of what Norway or Switzerland currently have with the EU, or it could be something less extensive, such as the trade agreement Canada and the EU have been negotiating. As to trade with the non-EU part of Europe, it makes sense for the UK to negotiate a free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) (it could even consider becoming part of EFTA). In addition, the UK will need to make a decision on whether to be part of the EU customs union, which will have a significant impact on how much control it has over its trade policy.

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