21 August 2017

  |  CBI Press Team


UK government's position on goods post-Brexit is 'significant improvement'

Our response to the Government’s position paper for negotiation on Goods on the Market

UK government's position on goods post-Brexit is 'significant improvement'

John Foster, CBI Director of Campaigns said:

“The UK Government’s position on goods is a significant improvement upon the EU’s current proposal, whose narrow definition would create a severe cliff-edge hitting consumers on both sides of the Channel.

“However, the only way to provide companies with the reassurance they need is through the urgent agreement of interim arrangements. This would ensure that goods and services can still flow freely giving companies the certainty they need to invest. “The simplest way to achieve that is for the UK to stay in the single market and a customs union until a comprehensive new deal is in force.

“Both sides should agree to move talks on to interim arrangements as soon as possible to stem the loss of investment.”


Notes to Editors:

Brief example on difference between position papers

At present, every new model of car, motorbike, bus and lorry made in the UK has to go through stringent testing by the Bristol-based Vehicle Certification Agency before it can be sold. It costs between £350,000 and £500,000 for a whole vehicle to get approval, and – because of the UK’s EU membership – that approval is automatically valid for the whole of the EU. 

Under the EU’s proposals, a UK-made car put on the market for sale on 29th March 2019 would still be able to be sold in the EU the next day as its approval would still be valid. However, a car from the same production line, which had gone through the exact same process and secured the exact same approval, but was put in the market for sale on 30th March 2019 would not legally be allowed to be sold in the EU.

In this scenario, UK car companies would have to secure licenses from EU approval agencies for all models currently in production – adding significant extra costs, impacting competitiveness of UK products and hitting the pockets of consumers on both sides of the Channel. There would be a real risk that uncertainty would drive car dealers to cancel orders from UK-based companies, in case those vehicles could not be sold.