Companies in the UK concerned about how the EU referendum result will affect them and their export and import operations have been issued a level of reassurance from the government that there are still plenty of export opportunities even now.
The Department for International Trade has said that it is impossible to predict the outcome of future negotiations with the EU but for now nothing will change until the UK leaves the European Single Market, which won’t take place until at least two years after Article 50 is invoked. And even in this instance, nothing will change unless the UK leaves the Single Market as well as the EU.
Until that time, people and goods can carry on moving freely between the UK and EU member states, and it’s important to remember that the UK is still thought of as part of the EU when dealing with nations that have their own trade deals with the Union.
“If the UK does exit the European Single Market, it will be governed by World Trade Organization (WTO) rules until any new trade deals are negotiated. We’ll remain a competitive player on the global stage because all major economies and most minor ones are members of the WTO. The WTO requires each member to charge the others the same tariffs and grant them ‘most favoured nation’ market access,” the department observed.
However, this press release from the government has drawn some criticism (which led to the original press release being pulled from the web), with the likes of Labour’s Chuka Umunna suggesting that trading with the EU following WTO rules would have a devastating impact on the economy and would show just how hollow the Vote Leave campaign’s promises actually were.
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