The Strategist

UK urges EU to keep free access for goods and services

08/22/2017 - 14:31

Against the backdrop of protracted negotiations on conditions of Brexit, the British authorities are calling to eliminate trade barriers for goods, permits for which were received before the official Brexit announcement date. London also counts on maintaining access to markets and service providers, given they are part of a supply contract. Brussels takes a similar position, but before discussing access to goods, they insist on resolving questions about compensation to the EU budget and the rights of migrants.

David Wright
David Wright
The British Ministry for the UK's exit from the European Union has submitted a clarified position on the negotiations on the movement of goods and services after the completion of the official Brexit procedures. Recall that this will happen automatically in March 2019 in case an agreement on the parameters of the "divorce" is not reached by the date. The next round of these negotiations should begin on August 29.

Recall, London hopes to speed up the negotiations by concurrently agreeing both exit conditions and access of goods and services after Brexit. However, Brussels insists that first the parties need to agree on three issues - rights of citizens, amount of compensation to the European budget and the border with Ireland. London hopes for maximum free trade regime, pointing out that not only the EU remains the largest market for the UK, but it is also the main direction for the export of goods from the EU: € 314 billion in 2016 is more than exports to Brazil, Russia, China and India.

The position stated yesterday concerns the access of goods after the exit procedure is completed. The ministry points out that the current standards will be incorporated into British legislation. This, in turn, will allow them to be applied at the time of withdrawal from the EU, and will urge the European Commission to recognize "the commonality of regulatory systems" for mutual recognition of issued permits.

In total, the document lists four principles. First, there should not be any new requirements or restrictions (including change of labels) for goods that have been released on the single market before the official date of Brexit (including inventories that are still subject to sale). Second: if the goods have already received necessary certificates and licenses, their re-registration should not be required (for example, for ordered, but not yet manufactured products). The third principle: the Brexit agreement should provide for synchronization of supervisory functions (including possibility of inspections and data exchange). Finally, the fourth principle assumes that in the case where a contract for the supply of goods also stipulates provision of services, companies should also be provided with free access to the markets of the UK and the EU. This principle, according to the Ministry, should also provide for mutual recognition of qualifications of those who provide services.

In the middle of July, the European Commission made a similar statement (only for goods), but pointed out that such a principle should not concern the rules of customs clearance, payment of duties and taxes, as well as application of intellectual property rights and possible restrictions in connection with health and safety risks products.