The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has praised Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for a two-year transition period when the UK leaves the Europe Union in March 2019, following her speech in Florence last week.
“We’re pleased the Prime Minister has recognised that Brexit needs to work for consumers which means time to adapt new customs controls to avoid disruption and a final deal which avoids new tariffs at a time when househo0ld budgets are already squeezed,” says Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive, BRC.
“Our EU colleagues in stores and supply chains are part of the reason that British retailers are often able to deliver affordable and high-quality goods. The Prime Minister is right to offer a real guarantee to both EU workers and UK nationals in the EU-27 between 2019-2021, subject to a registration requirement. However, they still need practical details about the process for registration and securing their status, so the UK Government should negotiate with the EU Commission so that preferential reciprocal labour market access across industries like retail can be put in place for the post-implementation period.
“A period of implementation is vital to offer certainty for businesses and allow them to prepare. It provides welcome assurance that existing trading conditions are to remain in place based on the existing structure of EU rules and regulations. This will aid the free flow of goods in the transitional period post 2019.
“Businesses and consumers will share the aspiration of the deepest access to European markets in goods and services post-Brexit but clarity from both sides on exactly how this can be delivered and on what terms is essential in the coming weeks and months. Clarity together with creativity are required to deliver a deal that works for retail businesses and consumers.”