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Brexit White Paper: The Future Relationship between the UK & the EU - nuggets - part IIAugust 2018

Brexit White Paper

The Future Relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union

BSRIA has digested government's recent White Brexit Paper - highlighting the issues important to industry.

Scene setting

On Thursday 12th July 2018 government released its White Paper setting out its most meticulous negotiating stance to date.

Key points:

  • free trade area for goods;
  • separate arrangement for services;
  • end free movement of workers.

 

Free trade area for goods – government proposals:

The UK will be shut out of future decisions on trade deals with the EU to provide frictionless border access and avoid customs declarations.

The UK will sign up to a common rule book for goods regulation and product standards, which will allow common labelling of products recognisable in the UK and the EU. For example, the same organic food symbol on an item will be mutually recognised and accepted both in the UK and the EU.

British Standards will remain part of relevant European Standards bodies to promote harmonisation between the UK and the EU and to ensure consistency in regulation of products and product labelling. As part of this, the aim is also to retain environmental energy generation and energy efficiency standards in line with current policies and for these to be monitored by an industry body.

The current system of CE marking operable in the UK and the EU would have to be unravelled. This area of product regulation is considered to be very complex and the difficulties of dismantling UK and EU laws created over 40 years cannot be underestimated.

The consequences of no deal have been spelled out clearly by the EU in their latest advisory document COM(2018) 556 final warning organisations how to prepare for this eventuality.

Funding & investment

Government plans to address the investment challenges to the construction industry by proposing its Construction Sector Deal, announced on Thursday 5th July 2018. By providing investment, government aims to promote stability during the period of Brexit uncertainty and ensure that the UK is well placed to take advantage of growth opportunities in future.

£420 million is being invested as part of this deal in innovation, productivity, digital skills and offsite construction to boost confidence in the construction market.

Next steps?

Industry bodies have pointed out that there is little detail about timeline: however, it is the responsibility of Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab to negotiate the final outcome of the EU negotiations by October 2018.

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