As the UK and EU prepare to negotiate their new economic relationship, the CBI has set out a series of practical business priorities for the UK-EU FTA that will help the British economy thrive outside the EU, supporting jobs and investment across the country.
Based on conversations with hundreds of firms of all sizes, across every sector, the CBI’s new report – The Red Tape Challenge – covers trade in services, trade in goods and customs arrangements. The report’s concrete and practical recommendations respect the parameters for the negotiations set down by the Prime Minister in his Greenwich speech. Frictionless trade is coming to an end. The challenge business and government now share is to minimise red tape through negotiations so companies can focus on jobs and growth.
The report sets out three key areas underpinned by 22 recommendations that businesses have highlighted as their priorities for the future economic relationship:
- The UK is a world-leader in services trade. As around 40% of the UK’s services exports go to the EU, one comprehensive coverage of services trade in the UK-EU FTA, alongside deals on mobility and data, will be important to maintain this competitive edge
- In traded goods, proliferation of red tape – from veterinary checks to double testing of sauna stoves – for the UK’s exporters should be avoided through cooperation on regulation with the EU
- While leaving the EU Customs Union will inevitably create new costs, negotiators should aim to keep customs costs and complexities low so firms can focus resource on R&D and innovation, rather than unproductive new administration procedures.
They are evidence based solutions that aim to reflect the sense of purpose and direction of this government and fully respect the parameters of the negotiations that have been set down. Focusing on outcomes, not specific models or negotiating strategies, the document covers the trade in services, trade in goods and customs arrangements. Together, they would help build the strongest possible foundation for future economic success.
The CBI’s report focuses on outcomes rather than negotiating strategies and does not seek to predict a ‘landing zone’ for the forthcoming talks.