CBI Publishes new report on the EU rules that matter for the economy

26 Jun 2018


As the trade association for our sector the BFPA has contributed to many consultations undertaken by the CBI. One such piece of work includes a study of the key EU Regulations that matter to the UK economy. They have now released the conclusions to this work in a report called the ‘A-Z’ report of the EU rules that matter for the economy. In it they highlight the specific asks of 23 sectors whilst also stressing the need to consider the cross-sectoral impact of regulatory changes.

As the UK and EU negotiate a new relationship, agreeing the future of the rules that govern the UK economy is perhaps the most complicated and economically crucial task facing the teams involved. Rules are the foundation for trade. Every nation has its own framework for how goods and services can be sold within and across its borders. The EU’s Single Market is one of the most sophisticated systems of economic rules in existence. Alongside securing the right customs arrangements, this is the key to keeping barriers between the UK’s market and the EU Single Market as low as possible, and will establish the basis for the UK’s competitiveness in the decades ahead.

The report identifies five areas where assumptions must be challenged and where the reality for businesses is more complex than it seems. They are:

  • There are opportunities for rules to change as the UK leaves the EU, but these are limited and are vastly outweighed by the costs that will be incurred if the UK’s rules change so much that it reduces smooth access to the EU’s market.
  • The UK economy cannot be neatly packaged into sectors that want alignment and sectors that want divergence from EU rules
  • Changes to rules for one sector will not just affect businesses in that sector.
  • While international rules are increasingly important to businesses, a close regulatory relationship with the EU will continue to be essential for decades to come.
  • Businesses are not looking for a bonfire of regulation. Ensuring regulatory certainty and continuity is the right approach for the UK Government to take for as long as negotiations are ongoing.

Along with these five focus areas, the report goes on to identify three key principles that should guide negotiators on both sides:

1)   Where rules are fundamental to the trade or transport of goods, the UK and EU must negotiate ongoing convergence

2)   In the negotiation of the new relationship, both sides should look to set a new international precedent in the trade of services and digital products.

3) Alignment will need to come with mechanisms for influence and enforcement that benefit both sides.

To view the report in full please click here