The House of Lords EU Goods Sub-Committee, chaired by Baroness Verma, has launched an inquiry into the future of the UK-EU relationship, focussing on trade in goods. This will examine the impact of the provisions set out in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). The Committee is interested in your views on the TCA and what it will mean for you or your business or policy area.
The Committee invites interested individuals and organisations to submit written evidence to this inquiry by 5 February 2021.
UK exports of goods to EU countries in 2019 were valued at £170.6 billion, accounting for 46% of total UK goods exports. The UK imported goods worth £267.4 billion from the EU, representing 53% of the UK’s total imported goods.
The Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the EU establishes a new framework for trade and cooperation between the parties. The Committee will examine the provisions relating to trade in goods, and where UK-EU relations should go from here.
The Committee is interested in the impact that the Trade and Cooperation Agreement has had to date and in what a future UK-EU relationship could look like. The Committee would welcome views on areas of interest that are cross-cutting and may impact a large number of sectors, as well as specific sectoral implications.
The areas of the TCA that relate to the EU Goods Sub-Committee’s remit include, but are not limited to:
(a)Non-tariff barriers to trade:
(b)Rules of Origin
(i)Technical barriers, such as regulatory requirements and conformity assessments
(ii)Measures for sanitary and phytosanitary products
(c)Customs and trade facilitation:
(i)The Authorised Economic Operator scheme
(ii)Measures to combat VAT fraud
(iii)Recovery of taxes and duties
(i)Transportation of goods by air, rail, road or sea
(ii)Safety and regulation
(e)The ‘level playing field’:
(ii)Regulations on labour
(iii)The rebalancing mechanism
Diversity comes in many forms, and hearing a range of different perspectives means that Committees are better informed and can more effectively scrutinise public policy and legislation. Committees can undertake their role most effectively when they hear from a wide range of individuals, sectors or groups in society affected by a particular policy or piece of legislation. We encourage anyone with experience or expertise of an issue under investigation by a Select Committee to share their views with the Committee, with the full knowledge that their views have value and are welcome.
If you wish to contribute your experience and expertise to the inquiry, please respond to the questions below, indicating which policy areas listed above you are responding in relation to. There is no obligation to answer every question.
Please indicate which aspect of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement you are responding in relation to. You are welcome to respond to any that apply.
(1)As opposed to other possible outcomes, what does the presence of an EU-UK free trade agreement mean for trade in goods?
(2)What is your assessment of the relevant provisions in the TCA and their impact on your business or policy area?
(3)What do those provisions achieve?
(4)What, if any, challenges arise because of those provisions? How should these challenges be addressed and what support is needed, if any?
(5)What do you identify as the most important issues that the TCA leaves for further negotiation? What would represent a best-case resolution of these issues?
(6)Within the parameters of the TCA, what should the UK seek to accomplish with the EU in relation to your industry or policy area in the short, medium and long term?
317 Office for National Statistics, ‘UK Balance of Payments, The Pink Book: 2020’: [30 October 2020]