Last week, the UK Trade and Business Commission published its first annual report. As you might expect, a year of in-depth evidence sessions with industry leaders and experts means the report is extremely comprehensive in nature.
As Best for Britain is the Commission’s secretariat, we thought our supporters might appreciate a summary of the report - just in case the full 35-page detailed report left you feeling a little ‘TLDR’*. So here we have consolidated the six core recommendations the Commission made in its report into bitesize chunks.
The Commission has examined UK trade policy from all angles, assessing the impacts of Brexit and the challenges that face us in the future. From the mountain of evidence they accumulated, Commissioners have made 21 recommendations to the UK Government.
The recommendations will help the many business sectors that continue to bear the burden of costly red tape and barriers to trade, which are artificially increasing costs for them and consumers at a time when global events threaten to hike costs even further. The proposals are also aimed at removing points of political tension including around the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The Commission’s key recommendations
- There’s always room for improvement. The report recommends that UK trade agreements should be more inclusive and consultative in the way they are drawn up. It recommends that the UK Government and other stakeholders assess the effect of trade deals on the UK’s economic structure and that the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU is regularly revisited.
- Stick to the standards. The Commission recommends that the UK remain aligned to EU regulation and standards when it comes to areas such as finance, regulatory frameworks and veterinary agreements. This will ensure smoother trading in future and bring stability to the UK’s trade.
- Strategic thinking. The UK should also develop and commit to a comprehensive trade strategy, rather than just a simple export target. The UK needs to attract investors through showcasing top talent and cutting-edge technology.
- Diplomatic developments. The UK needs to make sure it is trusted and respected on the international stage - and is seen as a good partner in diplomatic matters.
- Helping small businesses. The Commission urges the Government to keep supporting businesses by tailoring Visa regulations to help with staffing shortages and by continually fine-tuning policy to tackle setbacks as they arise. The Government must put a successor to the Brexit Support Fund in place urgently.
- Protocol proactivity. The Commission recognises that the Northern Ireland protocol is currently the main focal point of contention with regards to the Brexit deal. The report recommends that both the EU and UK find a pragmatic way forward in current negotiations.
The UK Trade and Business Commission has heard over 2000 minutes of evidence over the past year from a range of expert sources. We know that these are turbulent times but we believe the report offers an ambitious yet realistic blueprint of what can be achieved with some hard work and some tactical operations.
You can watch the Commission’s past evidence sessions, and keep informed about future sessions here.
We are experiencing a major change in our trading environment, but as the report shows, we need to face the realities of this change and encourage meaningful engagement between Government and businesses. We need to confront the changes ahead so that we are ready to adapt to them. Then, and only then, can we be the Global UK that all of - businesses, consumers, workers - deserve.
*TLDR = Too Long, Didn’t Read