Once the agreement is ratified by the UK Parliament, the UK and the EU will enter into a 21-month transition period on March 29, 2019, which secures frictionless, tariff-free trade with the EU, regulatory consistency with the EU, and access to skilled people.
The UK is a net exporter of paints and coatings, with the top six export countries for the industry being in the EU. Maintaining regulatory consistency is vital for the sector, with 55 percent of imports coming from the EU and 97 percent of BCF members having some form of trade with the bloc. BCF members’ products cross the border several times, and the coatings sector depends heavily on frictionless trade with the bloc. No deal will cause unnecessary cost burdens on an industry that supplies to other key areas of manufacturing including automotive and aerospace.
“Ultimately, this agreement will avoid the chaos that would be a ‘no deal’ scenario, and it will allow our members to continue to have frictionless, tariff-free trade with the EU 27,” said Ellen Daniels, head of public affairs and policy.“The direct reference to potentially exploring cooperation with the European Chemicals Agency in the political declaration is key to our industry. We encourage the negotiators to seek out this new relationship with the EU.
“Sixty-one percent of our members have said that proximity to market is important, and three quarters say Brexit is a risk because of potential tariffs and regulatory diversion,” Daniels continued. “We urge MPs to vote in favor of the Withdrawal Agreement, which will give the coatings industry clarity and certainty, and allow the UK to continue to be an attractive place for manufacturing”.