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Brexit on Welsh trade inquiry launched

6 March 2020

The Welsh Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry that will look into the implications of the UK-EU trade negotiations for Wales.

Wales is more reliant than the UK as a whole on the European Union as a destination for its exports. The UK government has opened negotiations with the European Union over the future trading relationship that will begin following the end of the transition period on 31st December 2020.

Customs practices will change as a result, the extent to which remains subject to negotiation.

The Inquiry will examine the key priorities for Wales in the trade negotiations and will look at the implications of a deal, along the lines proposed by the UK Government, or no deal on Welsh businesses and Wales-EU trade flows.

The inquiry will also assess the effects of the Northern Ireland protocol on intra-UK trade, including whether additional capacity is required at Welsh ports. Outside of the EU, this inquiry will examine the opportunities, and priorities, for Wales in trade negotiations with countries such as the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

The Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP, Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee said: “The needs of Welsh businesses and consumers need to be given the priority they deserve now that the UK's trade negotiations with the EU are underway.

The Committee wants to hear from businesses and trade groups across Wales to learn what their priorities are during these negotiations, and to gauge the opportunities, and challenges, that exist for Wales as the UK embarks on an independent trade policy.”

Terms of reference

The Committee seeks written evidence submissions addressing the following:

  • What are Wales' priorities for future trade relations with the EU, and what are the implications of any future UK-EU trade and customs arrangements for Wales?
  • Following the UK's withdrawal from the EU, what opportunities will there be for Wales in trade negotiations with non-EU countries, and how should the most important areas to the Welsh economy be represented in different trade models?
  • How will the revised Northern Ireland Protocol affect the access of goods to and from Wales as part of the UK internal market, including customs checks, processes and declarations?
  • What additional capacity is required at Wales' ports to manage checks and customs arrangements for GB-NI trade after the implementation period?
  • What benefits could freeports bring to Wales as part of the UK's post-Brexit trade strategy?
  • How will any future trading models affect agricultural trade in Wales, including the level of trade, tariffs and export of Welsh food and drink?
  • What role, if any, should the devolved administrations play in UK trade policy and how can key Welsh interests be best reflected in the UK's trade priorities and future negotiating strategies?

Submissions should be sent, via the Committee's website, by 20 April 2020.

Further information

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