The Commission held a total of nine evidence sessions to ascertain and refine how the UK should conduct its economic diplomacy, hearing evidence from exports both from a cross the United Kingdom and the world.
Session 1 included three evidence sessions in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh. The panels examined fundamental questions about the UK’s foreign economic policy: How and by whom should economic diplomacy be formulated? With what scrutiny should foreign economic policy preferences be decided? How should future negotiations be conducted? These hearings set the foundation for evaluating the UK’s foreign economic policy in the 21st century.
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Session 2 examined the options for Britain’s economic future and diplomacy: What is the best design for a modern trade agreement? What should be the UK’s role in the 21st century global economy?
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Session 3 asked: How should economic policy interact with other government policies - environment, human rights, international development, defence and security and the overarching framework of foreign policy? Where are the tensions between these policies? How can economic diplomacy goals be coherently reconciled with other government aims?
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Session 4 examined the impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s economic diplomacy, asking: How has the pandemic affected the global and the UK economy? What longer-term impact will COVID-19 have on the UK’s foreign economic policy?
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Session 5 looked at how economic diplomacy should be conducted. Does the current policymaking structure work? What lessons can we learn from other OECD nations?
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Session 6 looked at what the impact of economic diplomacy is across the UK, across its regions, and sectors of the economy. What are the distributional impacts in terms of effects on wages, employment; nations; sectors of the economy? What are the political impacts in terms of how globalisation affects political sentiment and populism?
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Session 7 looked at how strategic interests and alliances should be assessed, e.g. US, China, EU? What should be within the framework for setting the UK’s economic diplomacy?
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