“The task of unpicking 40 years of economic and regulatory integration is complex and colossal,” CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn has warned at the launch of a new CBI report on the EU rules that matter for the UK’s economy and jobs. Entitled ‘Smooth Operations’, the report is based on thousands of conversations with UK businesses as well as dozens of Trade Associations, and provides an ‘A to Z’ of the rules that will matter most after the transition period. The document outlines the regulatory needs of no less than 23 industry and service sectors, of which 18 prefer convergence or alignment for the majority of regulation that matters.
Compiled over a six-month period, the CBI’s study states that Brexit presents opportunities for rule changes in several sectors that could benefit the British economy and consumers.
However, the report adds that these opportunities for divergence are vastly outweighed by the costs of deviating from rules necessary to ensure smooth access to the EU, which is the UK’s largest trading partner.
Another important finding is that changes to rules in one sector have significant knock-on effects for companies in other sectors and throughout supply chains.
Where rules are fundamental to the trade or transport of goods, such as in the automotive, chemicals and life sciences sectors, remaining in ‘lockstep’ with the EU is “essential”.