Brexit: EU to seek environmental non-regression clause

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The CBI has suggested there are three principles that the Brexit negotiations should now focus on to secure the best deal for business and the United Kingdom economy: where rules are fundamental to the trade or transport of goods, the United Kingdom and European Union must negotiate ongoing convergence; as part of the new relationship, negotiators should set a new worldwide precedent for liberalising trade in services and digital products and any alignment will need to come with mechanisms for influence and enforcement that benefit both sides.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director general, said: “It’s vitally important that negotiators understand the complexity of rules and the effects that even the smallest of changes can have”.

Firms in the North need any future UK Brexit deal to incorporate “a significant amount of convergence with European Union rules” if they are going to continue to trade “seamlessly” across Ireland, an influential business group has warned.

“Yes, I did campaign to remain”, replied the Prime Minister.

Britain’s parliament will vote on a formal withdrawal treaty later in the year – covering issues such as the divorce bill and citizens’ rights – in a potential flashpoint in the Brexit process. Barnier suggested that if Britain didn’t make such a commitment, the EU’s 27 countries might not approve the deal.

Mrs May has identified chemicals, medicines and aerospace as industries where Britain will want to remain close to the European Union, while singling out fisheries and agriculture as potential areas for divergence.

Britain’s vast financial services industry will emerge largely unscathed from Brexit and the sector will suffer far fewer job losses than first feared, Davis said.

However, the CBI warned that a sector-by-sector approach to rules posed risks as sectors don’t operate in isolation.

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. The EU has also rejected May’s approach as cherry-picking.

The two sides should broker mechanisms giving both parties influence over rules and allowing for enforcement of those regulations.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of the decisions that will be taken over the next six months”.

The energy-related recommendations are part of a wider report on businesses’ concerns about the government’s Brexit plans.

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