Plans out­lined to en­sure sale of UK goods fol­low­ing exit from EU

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY BUSI­NESS RE­PORTERS

THE UK has set out pro­pos­als to en­sure that trade in goods and ser­vices can con­tinue with Eu­rope af­ter the point at which it leaves the Euro­pean Union.

A po­si­tion pa­per pub­lished by Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis called for goods al­ready on the mar­ket to be al­lowed to re­main on sale in the UK and EU with­out ad­di­tional re­quire­ments or re­stric­tions fol­low­ing Brexit.

And it said any agree­ment should al­low over­sight ar­range­ments to re­main in place, per­mit­ting ac­tion to be taken against un­safe or non-com­pli­ant goods to pre­serve pa­tient safety and con­sumer pro­tec­tion.

A sec­ond pa­per rec­om­mended a re­cip­ro­cal agree­ment to en­sure con­tin­ued con­fi­den­tial­ity for doc­u­ments shared by the UK with its EU part­ners.

The pub­li­ca­tions come ahead of the third round of for­mal Brexit talks in Brus­sels next week and are due to be fol­lowed in the com­ing days by papers set­ting out the UK’S po­si­tion on civil ju- di­cial co-op­er­a­tion, en­force­ment and dis­pute res­o­lu­tion and data pro­tec­tion.

Mr Davis said: “These papers will help give busi­nesses and con­sumers cer­tainty and con­fi­dence in the UK’S sta­tus as an eco­nomic pow­er­house af­ter we have left the EU. They also show that as we en­ter the third round of ne­go­ti­a­tions, it is clear that our sep­a­ra­tion from the EU and fu­ture re­la­tion­ship are in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked.

“We have al­ready be­gun to set out what we would like to see from a fu­ture re­la­tion­ship on is­sues such as cus­toms and are ready to be­gin a for­mal di­a­logue on this and other is­sues.”

Pub­li­ca­tion of the papers comes af­ter an EU leader warned that slow progress in Brexit talks means the UK will not be able to progress to the sec­ond phase of ne­go­ti­a­tions in Oc­to­ber as planned.

North­ern Ire­land busi­ness groups last week wel­comed “con­struc­tive” Down­ing Street pro­pos­als which would see no bor­der checks be­tween North­ern Ire­land and the Repub­lic, but say it throws up more ques­tions.

The White­hall pa­per wants to avoid check­points or any other phys­i­cal bor­der. But, it pro­poses em­ploy­ing “tech­nol­ogy-based so­lu­tions to make it eas­ier to com­ply with cus­toms pro­ce­dures”.

“This would en­able the bor­der be­tween North­ern Ire­land and Ire­land to con­tinue to be seam­less in re­la­tion to cus­toms,” it says.

But the pa­per does not make clear what will be put in place to reg­u­late the flow of goods across the fron­tier.

Speak­ing about the lat­est pro­pos­als, a Down­ing Street spokes­woman said: “We are con­fi­dent that we will have made suf­fi­cient progress by Oc­to­ber to be able to ad­vance talks to the next phase.

“That is our aim and we are con­fi­dent that we are work­ing at a pace to be able to get to that point.”

Mean­while, the Gov­ern­ment’s new chief trade ne­go­ti­a­tion ad­viser, Craw­ford Fal­coner, said the trade deals Bri­tain could strike af­ter Brexit would help boost global se­cu­rity.

Last week, the Gov­ern­ment con­ceded that the UK would not be able to im­ple­ment any new free trade agree­ments un­der a pro­posed cus­toms tran­si­tion deal ex­pected to ex­pire around two years af­ter Brexit in March 2019.

But Pro­fes­sor Fal­coner, who will work along­side In­ter­na­tional Trade Sec­re­tary Liam Fox from this week, wrote in the Daily Tele­graph: “There is a pow­er­ful po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity el­e­ment to get­ting this right.

“His­tory is lit­tered with in­stances of the de­struc­tive po­lit­i­cal con­se­quences of closed mar­kets. This was a les­son well un­der­stood at the end of the last cen­tury’s global con­flicts. Many coun­tries still recog­nise that open trade poli­cies di­rected at en­gag­ing with oth­ers are at the core of any strat­egy to im­prove the global prospects for po­lit­i­cal open­ness and sta­bil­ity.”

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