CBI urges UK and EU to minimise red tape for future trade

The Confederation of British Industry (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.

As the UK and EU prepare to negotiate their new economic relationship, the CBI has urged all parties to minimise red tape through negotiations so that companies can focus on jobs and growth. Measures that can achieve this include:

On services

– Ambitious market access for services to support UK firms’ competitiveness.

– A reciprocal mobility agreement allowing people to travel on business trips and short-term intra-company transfers.

– An adequacy decision on data to allow cross-border data flows to continue, which is a key part of modern trade.

On goods

– A mechanism to allow for British sovereign choices over rules.

–  An assumption of mutual recognition of rules unless and until either side chooses to diverge.

– Cooperation on testing and compliance to reduce red tape and waste, avoiding double testing of goods.

On customs

– Mutual recognition of trusted trader schemes with specific work needed to make these accessible for small and medium enterprises.

– Simplification of administration and documentation to keep paperwork to a minimum.

Commenting on the report, entitled ‘The Red Tape Challenge’, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said: “A clear democratic decision has been made to leave the EU. Firms are committed to seizing the opportunities and helping minimise any problems that emerge by working closely with government.  This is how we will build the most successful future for the UK economy.

“With talks now in touching distance, the CBI has asked employers across the country what practical outcomes they need from the future EU relationship. The message is clear: keep trade easy and minimise red tape.”

Dame Fairbanks continued: “Firms are future-facing and believe Britain is well-placed to grasp new opportunities ahead, setting regulations for new technologies from artificial intelligence to quantum computing. Our recommendations aim to keep red tape low, while recognising that the ability to set its own rules is central to the Government’s ambition and can bring real opportunities for business.”

Article published 26th February 2020