International trade has increased considerably over the past century, with more integrated countries and cross-border shipment of goods and service delivery becoming simpler and cheaper. There are two related issues that are worth highlighting. First, the issue of export-oriented growth. What is remarkable is that many of the previous benefits of trade – specialization, economies of scale, increased competition, diversity, outreach and agglomeration – act by facilitating imports. Exports are of course the means to afford to increase imports, but the benefits are the result of increased imports. This does not mean that there are no export benefits. The EU currently has around 70 trade agreements, but they are often not easy to replicate, and negotiations take time. It is clear from the previous discussion that the impact of trade on an economy, as well as on winners and losers, is complex. The losers in international trade are mainly companies, workers and the locations of firms directly affected by increasing import competition from abroad.
On the other hand, the winners are consumers and users of imported intermediate goods, as well as companies, workers and sites that are more related to export activities. Losers are generally less and more focused, while there are usually many more winners, but more dispersed. The impact is complex and, in return, it means that there are no simple political rules. While it has been recognized that countries` ability to take full advantage of trade depends, at least in part, on accompanying policies, it is also true that there is no single political strategy to achieve this.  Trade may have different effects on male and female workers. There is several transnational evidence that in high-income countries the gender pay gap tends to narrow with increased trade, combining a reduction in discrimination with an increase in the relative demand for women-related work.  One reason is that discrimination becomes more costly with increased import competition and, therefore, discriminatory behaviour should be supplanted in the long run by enhanced trade. Indeed, data on the gender pay gap in manufacturing in the United States between 1976 and 1993 indicate that previously „concentrated“ industries (low-competitive industries) recorded a larger reduction in the gender pay gap relative to increased trade relative to competitive industries.  Another aspect is that increased trade can encourage companies to upgrade their technology to new automatic or computerized machines, reducing the physical needs of workers and increasing the demand for female labour.  The agreement is also the UK`s first with a member of the Association of South Asian Nations. EU trade policy has been a patchwork negotiated for decades. Some developing countries have special trade relations with the EU, others are on less favourable terms.
After Brexit, Britain may try to improve development through its trade policy, but room for manoeuvre is limited by the final Brexit deal and World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.