The Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission (STC) was created in the wake of the British vote to leave the European Union. At this critical historical juncture, the STC aims to present a roadmap for the many trade negotiations which the UK will need to undertake now. It seeks to re-focus the public discussion on Brexit to a positive conversation on opportunities, rather than challenges, while presenting empirical evidence of the dangers of not following an expansive trade negotiating path.

The STC will draw upon the talent of experienced former trade negotiators from the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, among other nations.

In 2016, the STC will host a number of public briefings that offer advice to key stakeholders on EU negotiations. The latest briefing took place on Thursday, 8 December and focused on the future of Britain’s agriculture and fisheries industries post CAP and CFP.

For enquiries or suggestions, please contact us.

The Commissioners

  • Shanker Singham
  • Chairman of the Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission; Director of Economic Policy and Prosperity Studies, Legatum Institute; CEO of Competere; former Managing Director, Competitiveness and Enterprise Cities project, Babson Global [More]
Alan Oxley
  • Alan Oxley
  • Managing Director, ITS Global, Consultants on Global Issues, Australia; former diplomat [More]
  • Alden Abbott
  • Deputy Director, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and John, Barbara, and Victoria Rumpel Senior Legal Fellow, Heritage Foundation, USA; former Director of Antitrust Policy, Federal Trade Commission; Legatum Fellow [More]
  • Crawford Falconer
  • Professor of International Trade, Lincoln University; former New Zealand Ambassador to the WTO [More]
  • Francisco Sanchez
  • Chairman, CNS Global Advisors; former Under Secretary for International Trade (Obama administration) [More]
  • Grant Aldonas
  • Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); former Under Secretary for International Trade (Bush administration) [More]
John Weeks
  •  John Weekes
  • Senior Business Adviser at the Canadian law firm Bennett Jones; former Canadian Chief Negotiator for NAFTA, Ambassador to the WTO and Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade [More]
  • Luis de la Calle
  • Founding Partner and Managing Director, De la Calle, Madrazo, & Mancera, Mexico; former Undersecretary of International Business Negotiations, Ministry of Economy in Mexico; former Minister of Trade Issues, Mexican Embassy, Washington, DC [More]

  • Nicholas Niggli
  • Head, Economy, Finance, Science & Innovation, Embassy of Switzerland in the UK; Chairman, Association of Economic Representatives in London (AERL); Visiting Lecturer, INP Executive Masters, Graduate Institute of International & Development Studies; former Chairman, WTO Government Procurement Agreement, Pension Plan Management Board, Committee on Specific Commitments [More]
  •  Razeen Sally
  • Associate Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore; Chairman, Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka; former Chair, World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Competitiveness [More]

All commissioners will serve the Commission in an individual capacity

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission (STC) is to understand and guide the process that the UK and other governments are engaged in as a result of the Brexit referendum.

The Commission will provide the academic firepower to enable a successful process that includes

  1. The UK’s relationship with Europe;
  2. The relationship with the countries that more holistically embrace open trade, competition on the merits as an organising economic principle, and property rights protection;
  3. The bilaterals with other key trading partners;
  4. The relationship with the Commonwealth and developing countries; and
  5. The underpinning WTO relationship.

The STC’s combined expertise and experience, spread over two hundred years and hundreds of trade agreements puts it in a unique position to be a trusted and independent advisor to the series of post-Brexit processes that could and should lead to the creation of a global economic engine.

This realises the Legatum Institute’s theory of change which is ultimately driven by the need to lift the global poor out of poverty and to create jobs, hope and opportunity for the world’s people through the application of property rights protection and open trade systems that are characterised by competition on the merits as the organising economic principle.

The STC’s role is to help shepherd governments, stakeholders and others towards increased global prosperity which is available if the inflection point in history that the Brexit vote represents is capitalised on.

The Legatum Institute is an international think tank and educational charity focused on promoting prosperity.

Latest Op-Eds & Media Coverage

  • Free trade is key to the UK’s prosperity after Brexit, Steve Baker, FT [£ View]
  • The pay-as-you-go Brexit, Tim Shipman & James Lyons, The Times [£ View]
  • Shanker Singham gives an update on Brexit, TPP and more, Sky News [Watch]
  • Keep calm and carry on trading: Donald Trump TPP tantrum will not hurt UK, City A.M. [View]
  • The cost of EEA membership is not worth it for the UK, Reaction [View
  • Just as MPs can’t negotiate Britain’s Brexit, so they can’t negotiate its future trade deals, ConservativeHome [View]
  • Investment is the new front line in the global war on trade, Australian Financial Review [View]
  • Steve Baker, MP: We need a pragmatic approach to leaving the European Union, City A.M. [View]
  • Hard Brexit could help secure trade deals worth double EU agreements, say Eurosceptics, Sunday Telegraph [View]

See the full list of media coverage here.​

Papers and Briefings

Related Materials & Impact

  • The Future of British Trade—Shanker Singham and Elizabeth Linder in conversation at the Asia-Scotland Institute [Watch
  • Exiting the European Union Committee: The UK’s negotiating objectives for its withdrawal from the EU, November 2016; Shanker Singham testifies [Watch]
  • Arizona State Senate Joint Ad-Hoc Committee on Prosperity Districts, October 2016; Shanker Singham testifies [Watch]
  • Treasury Committee hearing on the future of the UK's economic relationship with the EU, July 2016; Shanker testifies [Watch]
  • Shanker Singham launches the Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission, July 2016 [Podcast]
  • A General Theory of Trade and Competition: Trade Liberalisation and Competitive Markets, by Shanker Singham, Cameron May Publishing 2007 [More]