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UK Government Publishes Papers on Future Trade Relationships and on Customs Bill

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Townsend Matthew
Matthew Townsend



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01 October 2017

Publication of the two papers fleshes out the UK’s negotiating aims in preparation for a Trade Bill and a Customs Bill but highlights the many complexities that lie ahead.

The papers also discuss the legislation needed to bring the changes into effect. The Government links the papers by three main negotiating objectives: trade should remain as frictionless as possible, there should be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and the UK will establish an independent international trade policy. The proposals on trade are less detailed; perhaps inevitably given that they hinge on the outcome of UK/EU negotiations. The customs white paper, a precursor to a Customs Bill, considers some of the practical consequences of both a negotiated settlement with the EU and where there is no agreement. Stakeholders are asked to comment on some of the proposals in the papers as the UK/EU negotiating rounds continue.