Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Business West welcomes UK-EU trade deal

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The last-minute trade deal agreed between UK and EU negotiators following Britain's departure from the European Union has been welcomed by regional business leadership organisation Business West.

The deal sets the rules for the future trading relationship between the UK and the EU following Brexit. The last-minute deal avoided the introduction of tariffs and quotas on goods coming into, and going out of, the UK. Without the deal, some goods would have become more expensive.

In 2018, almost half (49 percent) of British exports went to EU countries, with a further 11 percent going to countries with an EU trade agreement in place. The remaining 40 percent went to non-EU countries.

Responding tot he deal, Phil Smith, managing director of Business West said: “Businesses across the region will breathe a sigh of relief at the news that a UK-EU trade deal has been announced.

“After more than four years of uncertainty, and then a very difficult nine months of Covid disruption, it is good to have a concrete deal that companies can start to work with.

"A No Deal would have been highly damaging, both in economic terms, but also in souring relationships between the UK and the EU and making it harder to come to common agreements that would help keep day to day trade flowing.

“The deal announced will still create new paperwork and barriers to trade with Europe. It is by no means perfect, but it does give an economic and political framework for future trade and a basis for economic co-operation.

“This is the start of a new era. We hope that a period of difficult and painful political disagreement can now be drawn to a close. Given the pressing need for economic growth and recovery that we currently face, we hope we can now move away from posturing towards pragmatism and create a new and constructive relationship with our closest trading partner.”

Business West has advice on negotiating new requirements that will be needed to trade with the EU – including customs declarations, regulatory requirements, and new ways of dealing with VAT – at www.tradingthroughbrexit.com