Latest Issue

The WTO struggles to remain the world’s trade rule-maker

Once hailed as steward of a new economic order, the body risks becoming a monument to a future that never arrived

By Guy de Jonquières  

Photo: Xu Jinquan/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Brexit enthusiasts like to claim that if Britain ends up leaving the European Union without a deal, it has nothing to fear because it can count on World Trade Organisation rules to safeguard its trading rights and keep foreign markets open. However, they are wrong twice over.

First, relying just on the WTO would condemn Britain to trading on more disadvantageous terms than any of the organisation’s 164 members. All of them have forged preferential trade deals that offer better access to other…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect