Responding to David Davis’ speech on standards and competitiveness post-Brexit, Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy at the IoD, said:
“Business leaders welcome the speech made by the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, which acknowledges that equivalent standards and regulations should not impede market access, but firms will require more clarity on how this would work in practice.
“The IoD is particularly pleased that Davis acknowledges the importance of keeping a level playing field on state aid and competition policy. As he suggests, this can and should go hand in hand with minimising trade barriers in a future deal with the EU. However, as we intimated in our latest report, Customising Brexit: A hybrid option for a UK-EU trade framework, the introduction of rules of origin for manufacturing could be a significant barrier in the absence of any partial customs union arrangement with the EU.
“We would encourage the Government to be cautious about using previous trade deals as precedents for mutual recognition, seeing as it is broadly limited to conformity assessment, inspections and professional qualifications in other free-trade agreements to date. Brexit could mean asking for an unprecedented degree of mutual recognition of rules and, while we support this as an aim for certain sectors, we have always stressed the need for greater clarity on future regulatory cooperation and how it would work in practice.”