16 May, 2022

The next steps to navigating Brexit

28 August, 2018

Vanda Jones, executive director, the British Compressed Air Society

As Brexit negotiations continue, the compressed air industry must now take action to ensure it is fully prepared and able to continue providing best practice advice and support for its customers. With many other sectors facing similar challenges too, it only makes sense that UK industry should speak with a consolidated voice to help shape UK Government policy at this important stage in discussions with the EU.

It was a result of these challenges that the EURIS Taskforce was formed, of which BCAS is a key member.

The EURIS Taskforce is an advisory body that examines the potential impacts of the changing relationship between the UK and EU for the UK Government, manufacturers and the media. It covers sectors responsible for over 25% of total UK goods imports and exports with a turnover of more than £110 billion. The body’s key driver is to make sure that manufacturers and suppliers in the UK are able to realise new growth potential through the Brexit process.

For instance, only very recently EURIS wrote to the Prime Minister to express concern over a ‘no deal’ scenario. Representing more than 3000 companies in the electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering industries, EURIS outlined how this could cause enormous disruption to UK industry and risk substantial economic damage to its organisations for a range of reasons. In short, a ‘no deal’ scenario would deter investment, lead to higher operational costs, cause supply delays to UK customers, and result in deviation from EU product regulations.

Regulatory alignment

One immediate area that EURIS is looking to highlight is EU-UK regulatory alignment. Adopting or mirroring EU technical product regulations for the long-term is essential for product manufacturers to import and export from the EU post Brexit. Any deviation has the potential to cause considerable confusion, uncertainties and costs. This may result in companies leaving the European markets, at significant economic cost to the UK.

EURIS proposes a new industry-Government plan to develop the right policies and approaches to ensure no regulatory divergence for product regulations. This would facilitate access to European markets and the vast array of global markets that also look for compliance with European legislation and standards as the basis for trade.

To realise new growth potential through the Brexit process, industry needs certainty and continuity, particularly in relation to regulations and standards. This will help organisations to continue trading, innovating and growing.

Viable customs arrangement

What outcomes are we looking for, then? First, we are calling on the Government to deliver a UK/EU trade deal, ensuring that a ‘no deal’ scenario is avoided. Secondly, we want a viable customs arrangement agreed that minimises costs and delays to UK industry. Finally, we want to ensure that the UK industry remains involved in the future development of European regulations and standards.

BCAS is delighted to be working with 12 other trade associations as part of EURIS to create a unified voice for British industry. To stay up-to-date on the latest developments, visit www.bcas.org.uk.

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