The Confederation for British Industry (CBI) has published a new report on what it identifies as the major issues to be considered when deciding which EU rules should be scrapped when the UK leaves the European Union.
Many EU Directives, regulations and other forms of legislation will no longer apply to the UK following Brexit, unless the Government brings them into British law. Rules considered to be overly burdensome and unnecessary will be scrapped.
The report, entitled Smooth Operations, takes a sector-by-sector look at how EU rules affect business, focussing on 23 industries including automotive.
The report identifies five areas where assumptions must be challenged during negotiations as the reality for business is more complex than it seems:
1. While there are opportunities for rule changes, these are both limited and are likely to be vastly outweighed by costs that will be incurred if these reduce smooth access to the EU market. Overall, deep alignment is sought between UK and EU rules in the vast majority of areas and sectors.
2. The UK economy cannot be neatly packaged into sectors that want alignment and sectors that want divergence from EU rules. A holistic approach to UK business should therefore be sought when negotiating future business and industry regulations with the EU.
3. Changes to rules for one sector will not just affect businesses in that specific sector – so a deep understanding on how UK businesses interact, both with one another and with EU partners, is vital.
4. A close regulatory relationship with the EU will continue to be essential for decades to come. The EU often leads the world in setting the rules on the global stage and remains by some distance the most important market for leading UK industries such as the automotive sector. For this reason, convergence in regulation to ensure smooth trade with the EU remains a priority.
5. Businesses are not looking for wholesale scrappage of current regulations and have limited capacity to manage significant legislative changes alongside possible new trading arrangements with European partners. Ensuring regulatory certainty and continuity is vital for UK industry, and should form the basis of current and future negotiations with the EU.