Black Country Chamber Reacts to Brexit White Paper

12 Jul 2018

Published in: Black Country Chamber of Commerce News

Corin CraneThe Government has today (12th July) published their long-awaited white paper on the future relationship between the UK and the European Union, outlining key areas of focus including the economy, national sovereignty, movement of people, and the Irish border situation.

From a trade perspective, the white paper calls for a free trade area for goods, giving frictionless border access. In essence, this would "protect uniquely integrated supply chains and ‘just in time' processes" with no "costly customs declarations".


Regarding the movement of people, according to the white paper free movement of people between the UK and EU will end, whilst the details of future migration policy will be decided in the coming months. However, these new arrangements will likely seek to help businesses get the right staff, allowing citizens to travel visa-free for tourism or temporary business trips.

Commenting on the publication of the Government's white paper, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "At last, businesses have a more comprehensive understanding of the Government's aspirations for the UK's future relationship with the European Union.

"Momentum and pace are now needed to translate ambition into answers to the real-world, practical questions that businesses face. Even with the welcome direction of travel in the White Paper, companies still don't know how they'll be paying VAT, how they can move people between offices, or whether goods will get across borders with a minimum of fuss. It is incumbent on the two sides to work pragmatically and productively on the nuts-and-bolts detail of the future relationship over the coming weeks, drawing on business experience and expertise."

Corin Crane, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, further commented: "The publication of today's white paper will be welcomed by Black Country businesses, who have had to endure a lack of clarity from Westminster for too long. However, whilst the UK will leave the single market and the customs union, it is essential that the creation of a Facilitated Customs Arrangement will ensure that importers and exporters are able to operate without the need for customs checks and controls at the borders.

"As the Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC) for the Black Country, we aim to provide access to support for both businesses and citizens alike, helping to answer questions relating to the most pressing Brexit-related issues. Over the coming months, we will be taking our mobile walk-in centre across the region, where people will be able to drop-in for support on a range of matters, including the rights of EU nationals both during and after Brexit negotiations."

For more information on how EDIC Black Country can help you, please contact 01902 912336 or email europedirect@blackcountrychamber.co.uk

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