What are the key issues for the Brexit negotiations?

The economy: Kamal Ahmed, economics editor

For the future of the economy, there are two intertwined issues at the top of the «importance» league table.

First, the type of trade deal Britain secures with the European Union following Brexit.

In economic terms, the more «frictionless» that relationship, the better.

Studies by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research suggest leaving the single market could lead to a long-term reduction in total UK trade with Europe of between 22% and 30%, unless Britain signs exactly the same free trade deal as it has now (which many in the EU have made clear they do not support).

That stark fall in trade – and therefore in the creation of growth and wealth in the economy – reflects the fact the single market is a comprehensive trade agreement aimed at reducing tariff barriers within the EU (the UK’s largest export market).

But, as importantly, the single market also seeks to reduce «non-tariff barriers», the rules and regulations governing issues such as safety certification and licensing of goods and services provided across borders.

For an economy such as Britain’s, driven by services such as retail and finance, non-tariff barriers are very important as well as very complicated.

The government believes some of that trade impact can be offset with new free trade deals with countries outside the EU, such as Canada and the US, but they may take a while.

Watch the detail closely – the UK’s future trade deals will be key to the future performance of the economy.

The other issue is immigration and, more precisely, labour mobility.

Businesses that operate internationally often need to move key staff in and out of the country as seamlessly as possible.

And sectors such as agriculture and food preparation and delivery rely on thousands of EU workers.

Freedom of movement rights across the EU – which help many businesses operate – are one of the red lines for Theresa May.

She has responded to worries that immigration is too high and cheaper workers from Central and Eastern Europe in particular have undermined employment opportunities and pay for British workers (although, with the economy approaching full employment, there is little actual evidence for this).

How «porous» the UK’s borders remain to labour mobility will be an important factor in the health of its economy.

Esta entrada fue publicada en English ESO.. Guarda el enlace permanente.

Los comentarios están cerrados.