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UK trade options beyond 2019 Government Response published

17 November 2017

The International Trade Committee publishes the Government's response to its report into UK trade options beyond 2019.

The Committee's report, published in March, set out the central challenges facing the Government as it began to set the UK's future trading relationship with the EU and the rest of the world after Brexit. It particularly highlighted the importance of establishing the UK's position at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

It also sought clarity and reassurance from the Government about various aspects of establishing new trading arrangements with the EU and other trade partners – not least "grandfathering" the trade agreements from which the UK currently benefits as an EU member.

Committee Chair Angus MacNeil commented:

"It is eight months since we published this report and 16 months until Brexit happens. Time is running out, yet the Government appears to be moving at glacial speed. On both WTO schedules and grandfathering, the Government tells us only that it has begun discussions. There is no evidence that there are workable plans to deal with the problems and pitfalls to which we drew attention back in March.

These issues may not get the attention that, for instance, the prospect of trade deals with the EU and US do, but they are crucially important for UK trade. British businesses need certainty and clarity right now, to allow them to plan ahead and adapt to the new post-Brexit trade landscape. The lack of progress demonstrated by the Government's response, and the lack of detail provided, is particularly disappointing given how long we have waited for it." 

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