UK Government Calls for Frictionless Movement of Goods Post-Brexit

By John Hasselmann, vice president, government relations

As the negotiations for the United Kingdom (UK) to leave the European Union (EU) resume this week, the British Government laid out what it expects to achieve for the future relationship between the UK and the EU in a series of positions papers on a range of topics:
Free movement of goods
Customs
Enforcement and dispute resolution mechanisms

The UK government essentially seeks to achieve a regime as similar as possible to the current one, with the key stated aim being the continuation of as “frictionless” trade as possible. This is especially pertinent for the electronics sector, which often requires components travelling from one Member State to another for assembly, sometimes several times until the finished product. Any time-consuming and costly barriers to free movement of goods risks placing a burden on the electronics industry, hampering its competitiveness.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), have already reacted positively to the UK government’s plans, reiterating their call for measures that will provide stability for businesses.

Despite the UK Government’s position being positively received, actually achieving the desired results will be a tall order, given that the papers can be interpreted as the UK “cherry-picking” the positive elements of the EU it wishes to maintain, while doing away with all the associated costs and obligations. The UK’s positions will not be formally discussed until at least October, as the EU is adamantly refusing to discuss what a future relationship will look like, before substantial progress has been made on the UK’s outstanding financial obligations, citizens’ rights post-Brexit and the Irish border issue.

IPC is currently surveying its members in Europe on the impact of Brexit on their companies. If you’re interested in participating in the survey, please contact me at JohnHasselmann@ipc.org.

 

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