Department for International Trade

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The DfIT is a govt department responsible for striking and extending trade agreements with non-EU states.ref It was created by Prime Minister Theresa May in Jul.2016, after the EU Referendum.ref

DIT's purpose is to develop, coordinate and deliver a new trade policy for the UK, including preparing for, and then negotiating, free trade agreements and market access deals with non-EU countries. The DfIT is a specialised body with significant new trade negotiating capacity.

A US/UK Trade Deal
The USA has far higher rates of foodborne disease than the UK, due to its appalling standards – resulting in very cheap meat, full of antibiotics and fillers. Hey, so a few thousand people die...

UK Export Finance

UK Export Finance (UKEF), formally, the "Export Credits Guarantee Department", is the UK's Export Credit Agency, and a ministerial department of the UK Govt. It was established in 1919 to promote UK exports lost during the submarine blockade of World War I.

ECGD's aim is to benefit the UK economy by helping UK firms to invest overseas, and exporters of UK goods and services to win business. It does this by providing guarantees, insurance and reinsurance against loss, taking HM Govt's wider international policy agenda into account.

  • Oct.16.2018: This government does not practice what it preaches on fossil fuels. In Mar.2017, UKEF offered ~£1bn of support to help companies secure business in Argentina. Greg Hands claimed the credit would support the Argentinian renewable energy sector. In Aug.2017, Philip Hammond went to Argentina to meet UK companies there. He promoted the £1bn offer to Pan American Energy (BP’s Argentinian arm) and Shell Argentina, amongst others. Not one renewable energy company was present. Oil companies in Argentina would use UK govt financing for fracking - it has one of the world’s largest reserves of natural gas. Some 99.4% of UKEF's financing for energy in developing countries goes to fossil fuels, and there is no plan to reduce its support. In fact, the govt denies the very existence of any subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. UKEF blames the renewables industry for a lack of demand. Funny that Germany, Sweden, France etc don't have that problem. Barry Gardiner, The Times.

An Export Credit Agency acts as an intermediary between national govts and exporters to issue export insurance solutions, guarantees for financing. It uses three methods to provide funds to an importing entity: 1. Direct Lending: This is the simplest structure whereby the loan is conditioned upon the purchase of goods or services from businesses in the organizing country. 2. Financial Intermediary Loans: Here, the export–import bank lends funds to a financial intermediary, such as a commercial bank, that in turn loans the funds to the importing entity. 3. Interest Rate Equalization: Under an interest rate equalization, a commercial lender provides a loan to the importing entity at below market interest rates, and in turn receives compensation from the export–import bank for the difference between the below-market rate and the commercial rate.

High Profile Groups

Healthcare UK

Healthcare UK is a joint initiative between the Department of Health & Social Care, Department for International Trade and NHS England. Initially called "NHS Global", it was set up to sell NHS expertise abroad but, far from benefitting the NHS, 80% of all contracts gained through Healthcare UK have ended up in private hands.
Healthcare UK acts as a conduit for commercial companies to expand the ‘domestic market’ here in the UK, as well as expanding the market abroad. It unlocks deals for private companies, some based in tax havens – whose investors have donated to the Tories; all in the name of the NHS.
Details of contracts won through Healthcare UK are considered by UKTI to be “commercially confidential”, and are therefore hidden from public view. This block also prevents us knowing who any ‘public’ organisations may be.[1]

Serco Group plc sits on the Healthcare UK board.

Export Control Joint Unit


Defence & Security Organisation

UKTI DSO at CAAT: link, link
DSO is a highly-secretive, in-house sales department for the UK Govt's Arms Industry. Its civil servants, military staff and govt ministers work hand-in-hand with arms companies to maximise arms sales.ref "For 2018-2019, our priorities will be to assist UK defence and security companies to export their products particularly in our priority markets..." (from the DSO website).

If you think the Arms Industry brings income into the UK, think again - it costs taxpayers around £100m a year.ref SIPRI and CAAT wrote an excellent report examining govt support for the Arms Industry. Defence & Security Organisation (DSO). DSO is a govt body that exists to help the arms and security industries sell their products around the world. It does this by: (a) coordinating govt support, with access to the highest levels of govt and the military; (b) inviting military delegations to UK arms fairs; (c) arranging UK delegations and/or exhibiting at overseas arms fairs; (d) using the UK armed forces to demonstrate and sell weaponry for companies; (e) identifying Priority Markets for sales campaigns; (f) implementing export campaigns for specific equipment. DSO is not interested in the human impact of the equipment it promotes; it exists purely to help the companies sell. Following the 2016 Brexit vote, DSO was moved from UK Trade & Investment (see UK Trade & InvestmentWikipedia-W.svg) to the newly-formed Department for International Trade. Shortly afterwards, it was announced that International Trade Secretary Liam Fox would personally lead on helping the defence and security industries to export. CAAT, Apr.10.2017.

  • Jul.2020: UKDSE: UK Defence & Security Exports: UKTI DSO was renamed yet again.ref
  • Jul.2007: UKTI DSO: UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation: Gordon Brown announced that the DESO would be renamed, and transferred to UK Trade & Investment as of Apr.2008.logoref,ref,
  • 1985: DESO: Defence Export Services Organisation: following the privatisation of the Royal Ordnance Factories, DSO was renamed to more accurately reflect its revised function.[2] deso.mod.ukArchive-org-sm.svg
  • Jan.1966: DSO: Defence Sales Organisation was established in the Ministry of Defence by Defence Secretary Denis Healey, to "ensure that this country does not fail to secure its rightful share of this valuable commercial market".[3] Raymond Brown, chairman of military radio firm Racal Electronics plc, was seconded to run it.
  • 1965: Stokes Report: Harold Wilson's govt appointed British Leyland's Sir Donald Stokes to advise on an arms export promotion strategy, due to concerns about British arms companies lagging behind international competitors. Stokes recommended that the way to reverse this trend was to create "a small but very high-powered central arms sales organisation in the Ministry of Defence" and that it should be run by an industrialist with the support of a senior civil servant and a military deputy.[4]
Additional Sources: Call the Shots: DESO Campaign briefing. CAAT. Original archived on Feb.03.2007.The Defence Export Services Organisation. David Leigh, Rob Evans, The Guardian, Jun.07.2007.

[ Website]Archive-org-sm.svg, UK Trade & Investment, >2010, www.mod.ukArchive-org-sm.svg, MoD UK Trade + Investment, Jul.2010: link

Trade & Agriculture Commission

The Trade and Agriculture Commission is an independent advisory board set up for a fixed 6-month period to advise and inform the govt’s trade policies. It will consider how the UK can best advance its interests as free trade deals are negotiated, as well as promoting the UK's agenda at the WTO and other international forums.

Members of the commission have been selected to provide a wide range of relevant knowledge and expertise. Membership consists of individuals across the agriculture, retail, consumer, hospitality, animal health and environment sectors. Webpage


  • Feb.22.2018: No 10’s man closes door on ‘opinionated’ trade negotiator Crawford Falconer. The govt’s chief trade negotiator is being marginalised from Brexit preparations. Crawford FalconerWikipedia-W.svg, a New Zealander who was appointed in June, made his unhappiness clear inside and outside of govt. He is demanding a central role in preparing Britain’s negotiating strategy and a seat at the table when trade talks start with the EU this year, and is strongly backed by Brexit-supporting Conservatives (the ERG). However, his attempts at securing a role are understood to have been rebuffed by Oliver Robbins, Theresa May's chief Brexit negotiator, leading to a stand-off in Whitehall. Mr Falconer, who worked with pro-Brexit Legatum Institute last year and is described as "highly opinionated", is said to feel that he is not being sufficiently listened to in govt. Sam Coates, The Times.


  • Jul.2016: DfIT: the Department for International Trade replaced UKTI.
  • Oct.2003: UKTI: UK Trade & Investment: British Trade International was merged with its two departments, to facilitate outward recognition of the organisation, and to reduce confusion with the two departments. [x x]Archive-org-sm.svg
  • May.1999: BTI: British Trade International was formed, comprising two parts: Trade Partners UK (for export) and Invest UK (for inward investment). It brought together the work of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It drews staff and associated administration funding from both parent departments, but had its own stream of programme funding.

UK Trade & InvestmentWikipedia-W.svg


  1. ^ Healthcare UK: A Conduit for Market expansion? Social Investigations, Jul.31.2014.
  2. ^ Origin of DESO. Defence Export Services Organisation, Dec.18.2002. Original archived on Jan.09.2003.
  3. ^ Defence Equipment (Overseas Sales). Memorandum by the Secretary of State for Defence and Minister of Aviation. Mr Denis Healey, Secretary of State for Defence, Hansard, Commons Sitting, Jan.25.1966.
  4. ^ Sir Donald Stokes' Report on Exports of Defence Equipment. Memorandum by the Secretary of State for Defence and Minister of Aviation. The National Archives, Dec.20.1965.