Chambers Ireland today noted the UK government’s published policy paper on customs, indicating a desire for a future customs arrangement with the EU and proposals for a temporary transitional period that would allow the UK to retain its current customs arrangement with the EU.
Speaking following the publication of the paper, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said, “We are nearly five months on from the UK’s decision to trigger Article 50 and to date, businesses have felt frustrated by the absence of detail from the UK on its proposals for a future trading relationship with the EU. Therefore, indications that the UK may be willing to enter into a transitional arrangement with the EU, following Brexit, will be cautiously welcomed by business. Nobody wants to see the “cliff-edge scenario” so it is positive to see that the UK Government has moved away from that language.”
“However, the UK’s position that their desired interim customs arrangements would be negotiated and implemented before the end of March 2019 appears wildly optimistic. We remain of the view that the best kind of transitional agreement for businesses in the UK and the EU would be the maintenance of the status quo during that period, allowing continued access to the Single Market and the existing Customs Union on an interim basis. The enormity of the changes facing the business community following Brexit cannot be underestimated. A realistic implementation period must be prioritised by both negotiating teams and therefore it is imperative that substantive negotiations between the parties on the real issues facing business commence as a matter of urgency. ”
“Since the UK voted to leave the EU, our members have been vocal in their desire to prepare for what lies ahead, yet in order to do this, they need to know what to prepare for. The publication of today’s policy paper contributes little to creating a more certain environment for business. This in turn points to the need for the Irish Government to invest in development of our infrastructure as a priority in Budget 2018.