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Theresa May sets out Brexit plan

John Cassels
17/01/2017

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United Kingdom

Theresa May's confirmation that the UK would be leaving the EU's Single Market follows logically from the decision that the UK will leave the EU.

Theresa May's confirmation that the UK would be leaving the EU's Single Market follows logically from the decision that the UK will leave the EU.  As she said, there is no point remaining in the Single Market without being able to have a voice in setting the rules and it would mean accepting the politically unacceptable: free movement.  On the customs union, a sectoral approach driven by integrated supply chains also seems sensible in principle. 

There are concerns in a number of sectors (e.g. food and life sciences) about regulatory uncertainty.  Businesses (large and small) often have multiple stock keeping units (SKUs).  Whilst the intention is that standards will remain the same on Day 1 of Brexit, interpretation and enforcement will likely diverge quite quickly and even more than they do today.  And there will be important gaps that will need be filled by any new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU: this includes schemes for Protected Designation of Origin, Protected Geographical Indication and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed.  These EU schemes protect Cornish Pasties, Stornoway Black Pudding and Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese.  Unless specific provision is made under a new FTA with the EU to continue these EU-wide designations, UK enacted rules will not apply across EU.

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