UK industries umbrella body the EURIS Taskforce, of which CESA is a member, has issued a call for clarity from the government over the proposed two-year transition period and what it actually means for UK industry.
EURIS has written to the secretary of state for the department for exiting the European Union to highlight members concerns and ask for answers on a number of specific points.
Chairman Dr Howard Porter said: “Whilst EURIS members are pleased to see the government continuing to seek a transition period with the EU, we have serious concerns and questions around the length of the transition period and the status of the UK during that period.”
On the length of the transition period Dr Porter added: “The current EU27 position intends a cut-off of 31 December 2020 for ‘post-Brexit transition’, which falls short of Government’s proposed 2 years. Whilst EURIS believes that in fact a 5-year transition period is needed to allow manufacturers to adapt to a new regulatory regime and amend product designs and manufacturing, at the very least we would like reassurance from the government over their proposed two-years.
“There is uncertainty for industry over what is meant by implementation or transition. In so far as there is neither a withdrawal agreement nor the proposal for a future trade agreement between the UK and EU, it is impossible to establish whether the 2-year period will involve a continuation of the UK’s current status within the EU and in global trading terms or be an amendment to that. We would welcome clarity from government on this point.”
EURIS vice-chairman Steve Brambley added: “The current situation and lack of clarity over the transition period means that it is impossible for UK businesses to plan for the short to medium term with any certainty. They don’t know if they will be treated equally with their EU27 counterparts during transition in a range of areas such as access to public procurement contracts and treatment under EU trade deals with other global markets. We need immediate clarity from government on this, so that our members can factor it into their current commercial decisions.”