UK seeks regulatory status quo for goods post Brexit

22 August 2017

The UK has called for continuity in the way goods sold in the UK and Europe are regulated and approved after Brexit.

In a position paper the government proposed that all goods approved for sale in the single market before the UK officially leaves the EU in 2019 remain available after. It has also called for no extra compliance activities for goods already approved in the single market, and for no restriction to be put on the provision of services that are supplied alongside a product.

“The UK’s objective is to provide legal certainty and avoid disruption for business and consumers with respect to the continued availability of goods in the EU and the UK,” it said.

It argued that both consumers and producers would benefit from a close trading relationship post Brexit, and cited the importance of maintaining cross border value chains.

“EU goods exports to the UK amounted to €314bn in 2016; more than EU goods exports to Brazil, Russia, India and China combined,” it said.

The paper also said there would be a need for a new agreement to ensure continued compliance between throughout supply chains.

In its own position paper, the EU Commission said goods placed in the market before the withdrawal date should stay in the market and that a new oversight mechanism needed to be agreed.

John Foster, CBI director of campaigns, said the UK’s proposal was a “significant improvement” on the EU’s position, which it said would cause a cliff edge for businesses. But he added an interim arrangement was needed until a comprehensive agreement was in force.

“This would ensure that goods and services can still flow freely, giving companies the certainty they need to invest,” he said.

This is the latest position paper the UK has published in the run-up to the third round of Brexit negotiations, which start next week. It has already released papers on a future customs arrangement and the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The government also published today a position paper on the future of confidentiality and sharing of information held by the UK and EU institutions and bodies.

CIPS has produced a checklist to help procurement professionals prepare for Brexit.

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