LP Brussels
“Plan for WTO”. LP interviews Syed Kamall MEP

“Plan for WTO”. LP interviews Syed Kamall MEP

What business needs to do now Article 50 triggered

In an interview with ECR Group leader Syed Kamall MEP moments after Prime Minister May’s letter was delivered to Donald Tusk, LP Brussels’ Olly Kaye asked what the triggering of Article 50 means for business.

What should every company have on their ‘to do list’ to plan and manage the regulatory change that will come?

1. Assess how much and which parts of your business really affected by leaving and what is not – supply chains, labour, standards etc.

2. Be clear on what you would like to see in a future Free Trade Agreement FTA with the EU, while being realistic about the fact that the UK is leaving the EU

3. Get together with other firms from your sector to tell the UK Government what you want and work with them to achieve it – government needs industry and industry needs government

4. Plan for WTO – agreeing a UK-EU FTA is by no means guaranteed, and industry needs to be ready to trade under WTO rules.

Should industry engage with governments ‘on the other side’, and if so how?

Yes, it is important to lobby both sides – the agreement needs to be made by both sides after all. Work with your trading partners, who speak the language and have local understanding to lobby their governments to ensure that the EU does not put barriers in their way to trade with you.

Who ultimately will be calling the shots from the EU side?

If the EU member states (other than France and Germany) are organised, then it will be the EU27 through the Council. If the 25 other EU governments do not make sure
their voice is heard, there is a danger that Paris and Berlin will try to call the shots.

Will we see both sides sticking to red lines, or will we see a classic Brussels compromise?

This is a negotiation and there may be some trade-offs. I believe both sides want to see most issues resolved within the two years

Should industry focus on the Brexit ‘divorce’ deal, the interim agreement or the forthcoming FTA?

They are all important, but ultimately in the long run, the most important for business is getting the FTA right

LP Brussels