The government has released a White Paper discussing the future after Brexit, including plans to maintain frictionless trade in goods.

The White Paper titled, ‘The Future Relationship Between The United Kingdom And The European Union’, discusses the plans for industries post-Brexit.

In the Paper, the Secretary of State Dominic Raab comments: “Leaving the European Union involves challenge and opportunity. We need to rise to the challenge and grasp the opportunities.

“In line with our modern Industrial Strategy, this Government is determined to make sure the UK is ready to lead the industries of the future and seize the opportunities of global trade. The plan outlined in the White Paper sets out to deliver a balance required.”

One of the points discussed within the paper is maintaining frictionless trade in goods between the UK and the EU through a new free trade area, responding to the needs of business.

The UK’s proposal for the economic partnership would ‘establish a new free trade area and maintain a common rulebook for goods, including agri-food, covering only those rules necessary to provide for frictionless trade at the border.’

Another point states: “As for manufactured goods, certainty around a common rulebook is necessary to reassure the UK and the EU that agri-food products in circulation in their respective markets meet the necessary regulatory requirements.

“This would remove the need to undertake additional regulatory checks at the border – avoiding the need for any physical infrastructure, such as Border Inspection Posts, at the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.”

Industry responds to the White Paper

Ian Wright CBE, Food and Drink Federation (FDF) chief executive, said: “The UK Government is right to make no-friction trade with our most important trading partner its number one Brexit priority; it is extremely encouraging that the White Paper seeks to do so.

“Our food and drink manufacturers rely upon integrated supply chains, with ingredients and finished products crossing UK and EU borders frequently – nowhere more so than to and from the Republic of Ireland.”

Minette Batters, John Davies, Andrew McCornick and Ivor Ferguson (presidents of the four UK farming unions) have issued a joint statement: “We are pleased to see the proposals agreed by the Cabinet last week included in this white paper, particularly given that the four UK farming unions have long-maintained that free and frictionless trade between the EU and UK is crucial for food and farming.

“We call on the UK government and the European Commission to work urgently to achieve an agreement on trade and we look forward to working with both in the ongoing negotiations.”

The International Meat Trade Association (IMTA) commented: “IMTA welcomes the UK government White Paper as providing the most detail to date on the UK ‘asks’ in the Brexit negotiations. We hope that the proposal allows for more meaningful progress in negotiations”

A foreword given by Prime Minister Theresa May states: “We will take back control of our money, laws, and borders, and begin a new exciting chapter in our nation’s history.”

To read the full report, click here.