Commenting on the Government’s Trade Bill, Sarah Owen-Vandersluis, Head of Trade Strategy at KPMG UK said:
“Business will welcome today’s Trade Bill and the importance of protecting existing trade flows from new non-tariff barriers and minimising the likelihood of a cliff edge scenario. Its technical nature belies the extraordinary amount of commercial value at stake.
“2017 has seen an intense public debate on Brexit divorce proceedings. Equally important, however, are the questions around designing the best possible future for Britain after Brexit. Chief amongst them is how the UK aligns its future trading relationships with Europe and the US, and importantly, developing countries and Commonwealth nations. This will define our ability to create an independent trade policy and take decisions which maximise UK economic development and inclusive growth.
“This Bill enables Government to make changes to domestic law, including some regulations and standards, to implement new trade agreements in line with existing agreements. While it makes provision for Parliamentary scrutiny of the resulting agreements, we would encourage this process to be broad and open, and include a fuller consideration of the UK’s future trade strategy.
“There are also substantial decisions to be taken on how we increase exports at an SME level, only 9% of which currently export, and how we tangibly link to the Industrial Strategy to drive the benefits of trade across the UK. Fact-based prioritisation and a deep and meaningful public debate are fundamental to this process.
“With protectionist measures on the increase, and issues such as intellectual property, competition policy, and data protection all emerging as potential trade barriers, a space has emerged for a new global voice in free trade. Nanotechnology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, the knowledge economy and Internet of Things are all areas which need to be addressed by new trading arrangements – presenting an additional opportunity for the UK to define a new, more modern and digital trading regime.”
Notes to editor:
For further information please contact:
Paul Middleton, KPMG Corporate Communications
T : 020 7694 2180
M : 0738 725 7543
KPMG Press Office
T : +44 (0) 207 694 8773
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