Our Key Priorities For EU-UK Negotiations
(London, October 5, 2016) At the Conservative Party Conference 2016, the Prime Minister announced that the UK Government intends to invoke Article 50 by March 2017, launching the process for the UK to exit the European Union. The British-American Business Council wrote to Theresa May and her government to convey our members’ priorities for the UK-EU negotiations.
1. Market Access
It is key to business that the UK retains access to the Single Market or an effective equivalent that includes tariff free access and minimises non-tariff barriers, particularly for those specific sectors or horizontal themes where the UK has particular strengths, such as the digital, telecoms and ecommerce industries. This includes common regulatory frameworks on principles and standards.
2. Talent Mobility
The ability of talent to move freely increases the flow of skills needed in a successful global business environment. We advocate for the ongoing right to move and source talent across the Continent, and want arrangements for retention of non-UK nationals currently entitled to work in the UK as well as UK nationals working elsewhere in the EU.
3. Data Flows
It is important that there are no restrictions on trans-border data flows, nor obligations on data localisation rules in the UK or EU. The UK must be seen as an equivalent regime for data security and data protection to ensure free data flows for all sectors.
The UK must maintain its influence and integration in the international trade arena. A detailed analysis should be carried out of the different trade options, and an assessment of the scope to actively engage and accede to existing or planned EU and WTO trade deals such as TTIP and TiSA. The government should focus on trade in services, as well as trade in goods and tariffs given the UK economic landscape.
5. Financial Services
Financial services companies based in the UK need to be able to continue to serve business and customers across the EU in the same manner, or as similar as possible, as they currently do. It is important to understand and preserve London’s place as a financial centre within the European ecosystem.
6. Innovation, Research and Standards
There should be full reciprocal access to bids for Research & Development projects and related funding, for all universities and research bodies and companies, including participation in dialogues that set research priorities.
Measures should be in place that avoid any discrimination in procurement rules, including public procurement, so that a level playing field for UK business access to EU government procurement is secured.
8. Intellectual Property
We advocate for a regime that harmonises copyright and trade secrets policy, and provides clarity for rights owners during negotiations.
The UK must keep its full access to the EU single aviation market and remain party to the EUUS Open Skies agreement.
10. Transitional Arrangements
It is crucial that transitional arrangements are in place before any new settlement is enforced. This will provide business with time to adapt to changed circumstance, mitigate impact and reduce the possibility of capital flight or risks to financial stability.
Jeffries Briginshaw, CEO of the British-American Business council said, "Our members are ambitious when it comes to their activities in the UK and Europe. With 7,500 US companies operating in the UK, supporting over 1 million jobs across the country, America is our largest investor. We advocate for an outcome that protects British business interests, secures US investment in the UK and promotes the UK as an attractive destination forward. The UK’s relationship with the EU must work for business. We hope the government sets out a clear vision and engages in a transparent and open dialogue."