Missed it last week.

More evidence of the consequences of introducing new friction - completely foreseeable and understandable.

Trade between the UK and the EU is of course still very much possible and if you meet origin requirements also tariff-free.

But the change simply makes it more difficult, more expensive and less competitive.

So if you have a choice... you're likely to look elsewhere.

One point to mention, there is no "re-opening of the talks". That's not how trade deals work.


And def not because of consequences that were obvious.

Even if many companies are only now discovering what it means to be a third country.

But that's an important lesson for the future - you don't sign a trade deal and change it a few months later when you decide you don't like it.

For these companies and organisations, the focus now should be on prospective deals.

Engage early to ensure the deals with Australia, NZ etc contain provisions that protect your interests.

While I often talk about the need for Gov to engage with private sector stakeholders, this works both ways - if you want to provide input, do it before the deal is signed.

You'd be surprised how difficult it is to get businesses to show any interest in trade negotiations before it's too late.

(h/t @snb19692 and @acgrayling for posting the article).

Interesting points about food standards in there too.


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More from @AnnaJerzewska

29 Apr
This is a truly historic day - I disagree with David (and @pmdfoster). And that doesn't happen often!

Customs and trade facilitation chapters in FTAs are quite generic. The actual, tangible cooperation and facilitation often occur informally, through a bilateral dialogue.
for me, it’s not a question of how often the Customs Committee meets but the conversations that take place on a completely different level – customs administration to customs administration, officer to officer.

There are two completely different levels here:

1⃣ customs, SPS and border formalities and requirements

2⃣ day-to-day operational issues

Read 12 tweets
25 Apr
Take it from someone who spends part of the time working on export promotion strategies in various countries around the world that “getting more of them to export” is not as easy as it sounds.

Having an FTA in place is step one. And it doesn’t mean very much without supporting policies. I wonder if (I hope) the Gov is well aware of this.

In order to achieve any returns on this investment (negotiating and FTA) further, far less “sexy”, policies are required: i.e. around awareness, guidance, access to financing etc.

Read 5 tweets
19 Apr
How to combine a customs union and bilateral trade deals?

A question widely discussed a few years back in the context of Brexit but one that's much bigger than that.

A couple of thoughts on that based on @_AnabelG's superb blog for @PIIE.

In principle CU members are not meant to sign their own FTAs but as @_AnabelG points out few of the existing CUs are perfect.

Many CUs are partial and some are a hybrid between a CU and an FTA – e.g. include rules of origin.

As a reminder: CU members have a common external tariff applied to all 3rd parties.

As a result, they can eliminate tariffs and other quantitative restrictions amongst themselves. Customs formalities and checks are still in place.

Read 12 tweets
24 Mar
At the heart of this entire mess is one thing and one thing only:

How do you communicate the scale of the new barriers to trade that are going to be introduced when for political reasons you are obliged to spin it as liberalisation?

It's not that the UK Gov didn't realise what was coming.

HMRC, DEFRA and other departments know these 3rd country rules inside out. They've got experts of their own in customs, SPS and everything else.

These Departments were well aware of requirements such as RoOs or health certificates.

But for some reason, whether it was lack of communication, deliberate decision or something else, that knowledge did not translate into a clear message from the UK Gov.

Read 11 tweets
22 Mar
Keep getting asked what are the chances HMRC will find out if you use an incorrect commodity code or declare preferential origin when you can't substantiate it.

And it usually makes me think of this TikTok


More importantly, though, I'm not entirely sure companies understand how important a "good compliance record" is in the long run.

If you look at the UK Trader Scheme, or other simplification etc a good compliance record is always a requirement.

Read 5 tweets
22 Mar
If you don't work in trade and have not been speaking to companies - read this🧵

Couple of really important points here:

1⃣ Companies will experience the consequences of the new formalities differently: for some things are working well(ish), others are no longer able to trade and their entire business model has collapsed.

It's a spectrum - where you are on that spectrum depends on your supply chain, industry etc.

Read 8 tweets

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