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According to the White Paper, in 2017, the value of imports and exports between the UK and the EU was over £423 billion (US $555.5 billion), with the UK reporting an overall trade deficit in goods with the EU of £95 billion (US $124.5 billion). In the same year, 70% of agricultural imports (food, feed, and drink) to the UK came from the EU. The paper contains the following proposal in order to ensure the trade in goods between the UK and the EU remains frictionless at the border:
- Zero tariffs across goods (including manufactured goods, agricultural, food and fisheries products), with no quotas;
- No routine requirements for rules of origin between the UK and EU; and
- Arrangements that facilitate accumulation with current and future Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners in order to preserve existing global supply chains.
- Those that must be checked at the border, including relevant Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) rules, which safeguard human, animal and plant health;
- Those relating to wider food policy, such as marketing rules that determine how agri-food products can be described and labeled, which do not need to be checked at the border; and
- Those relating to domestic production, such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
The White Paper also provides that the UK will be establishing its own Geographical Indications (GI) scheme which would go beyond the requirements of the “WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS).” Among the GI-protected products from the UK are Scotch whisky, Scottish farmed salmon, and Welsh beef and lamb.
Verisk 3E Analysis
The White Paper makes it clear that the UK will no longer be subject to EU courts and although it mentions partnerships with EU agencies that provide authorizations for goods in highly regulated sectors such as the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), it makes no mention of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and its participation in or adherence to limits or standards proposed by EFSA. The proposals presented in the White Paper to promote "frictionless" access to markets will result in negotiations between the UK and EU in upcoming months. The withdrawal date for the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) from the EU is the end of day on 29 March 2019.