Chamber International Trade update
Intensive discussions between the UK government and the European Commission will begin over the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. The Cabinet Office Minister, Lord Frost CMG gave a speech in Lisbon on Tuesday seeking the replacement of the Protocol. On Wednesday, the Commission published four papers on customs, agri-food, medicines and governance on the arrangements between GB and NI, seeking to reduce checks on customs and goods movements. We will be seeking engagement with both the UK government and the Commission given the importance of this issue in NI and also in relation to the entire UK-EU trading relationship and terms. Further briefings are to follow.
The latest ONS UK trade data was published yesterday. While there was a modest rise in UK goods exports to the EU in the three months to August compared with the three months to May, exports are around £2 billion less this August, than in August 2018. Read our comments on the data. The ONS has also published the regional trade in goods data for Q2 2021 with a new methodology. Click here to find out more.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) has launched a consultation on a prospective trade deal with the Gulf Co-operation Council countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE). Responses are welcome, until Friday 14 January, here to the following questions. We hope to organise an engagement event on the consultation with DIT officials in due course.
The Chamber took part in a discussion with the Cabinet Office last week chaired by Michael Ellis, the new Paymaster General. There was a packed agenda around mutual recognition of professional qualifications, services access, business travel and short term visas in the EU. We discussed legal services, financial services, architecture, auditing & accountancy. Please let us know of those cases where your members are finding services trade with customers in the EU difficult since January
As discussions on trade and fossil fuel subsidies in Geneva move quickly towards the WTO 12th Ministerial Council, G20 Trade Ministers reached an accord on WTO reform, health, trade in services and sustainability at the summit in Sorrento this week.
The Department for International Trade also announced further details and speakers for its Global Investment Summit on Tuesday 19 October in London and Windsor.