Ahead of the Art. 50 European Council, Ceemet published its statement and continues to press for a smooth and orderly Brexit, one that will deliver continued prosperity and investment in jobs alongside economic growth both in the EU and in the UK, as it is in our mutual interest.
Therefore, Ceemet calls on all parties to commit to a status quo transition period, time limited, for at least two years, and to move swiftly to the second phase of negotiations. This is imperative in order to provide certainty, to ensure a stable and predictable legal framework and avoid a two-step adjustment for Metal, Engineering and Technology-based (MET) companies.
MET companies are part of highly integrated and complex supply chains which make up much of the trade and investment, and crucially quality employment, in the EU. Many of the current discussions do not fully appreciate this important co-dependency, within our sector and with other sectors, which involves everything from regulatory alignment, standards, customs and terms of trade. Any disruption to these interwoven relationships would be detrimental to the growth and prosperity of both the EU and UK, we therefore must ensure as soon as possible, but no later than the forthcoming European Council meeting, a status quo transition period.
The key messages to bear in mind are:
Maintain free and frictionless trade, avoiding tariff and non-tariff barriers to the movement of goods and services and ensuring the integrity of the Single Market;
Enable workers to move freely across borders to support complex supply chains and address the sector’s skills gap;
Ensure a single regulatory environment, supported by mutual recognition and regulatory cooperation;
Consult industry to ensure negotiations deliver a deal which works for manufacturers in the EU and in the UK.
Ceemet identified 6 areas that are crucial for jobs and growth and asks for:
1) Transition Period
Based on the status quo with the UK staying inside the Single Market and the Customs Union;
EU rules and regulations apply;
Jurisdiction of the ECJ is maintained;
Time limited, for at least two years;
UK must be granted latitude to negotiate independent trade relationships.
2) Free and Frictionless Trade
Tariff free trade;
Frictionless borders for goods and services between the EU and the UK;
Common set of Rules of Origin recognising current trade flow.
3) Movement of Workers
Free movement of workers within the UK and the EU, with a one-step registration afterwards;
Rules should allow for the movement of all skill levels;
Rules over the movement of workers should be compatible with the EU Treaties.
One single regulatory framework must be applied by companies trading within the single market;
We must ensure a level playing field across Europe, with a mechanism to enable regulatory cooperation and avoid regulatory divergence.
There must be a willingness on behalf of the UK Government to make a fair contribution to economic development in the EU, by way of grants and contributions to EU programmes and agencies, in return for access to the EU market for goods and services.
6) Industry consultation
Industry involvement and engagement is essential for a reasonable deal and a mutually beneficial future relationship, industry must be included in these negotiations in order to explain the complex relationships which exist between businesses in the EU and the UK.