LONDON: British goods placed on the market before Brexit should be sold in EU countries under current conditions even after the UK leaves the bloc, the British government said on Monday.
The government also emphasised that current negotiations about the divorce are “inextricably” linked to future trade arrangements and should therefore be discussed at the same time.
In a paper ahead of the next round of UK-EU talks next week, the government said: “We want to ensure that goods which are placed on the market before exit day can continue to be sold in the UK and EU, without any additional requirements or restrictions.
“This means that where products have gone through an authorisation process prior to exit, for example a type approval for a car, this approval should remain valid in both markets after exit,” it said.
Britain’s Brexit minister David Davis said setting out the proposals “will help give businesses and consumers certainty and confidence in the UK’s status as an economic powerhouse” following Britain’s departure.
“It is clear that our separation from the EU and future relationship are inextricably linked,” he said.
‘Clock is ticking’
But there was a cool response from Brussels.
European Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein restated the EU position that there first has to be “sufficient progress” on three key issues: the rights of EU citizens, the financial settlement and the future of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border.
“The important thing to realise is that the clock is ticking, that we have no time to lose and that we need to get on with it,” he said.
A third round of Brexit negotiations is due to be held next week.
Last week, Britain laid out its desire for a “temporary customs union” with the European Union after Brexit but EU officials dismissed the proposal as “fantasy”.
The government proposed to continue for around two years the kind of tariff-free arrangements that apply now to EU-UK trade in goods, again to give businesses more time to adapt to new post-Brexit systems.
Britain’s biggest lobby group, the CBI, welcomed the UK’s latest proposals, while urging swift agreement between London and Brussels.
“The only way to provide companies with the reassurance they need is through the urgent agreement of interim arrangements,” CBI director of campaigns John Foster said in a statement.
“This would ensure that goods and services can still flow freely giving companies the certainty they need to invest,” he said.