UK Publishes Proposal for ‘Fair and Open’ Post-Brexit Partnership with EU

22 August 2018


It will be essential for the UK to offer a fair and competitive market for EU companies wishing to trade in the country after Brexit and visa versa, a new UK-EU partnership proposal document says.

In the 20-page document, Framework For The UK-EU Partnership, Open and Fair Competition, the UK stresses that it will maintain crucial powers to fight anti-competitive behaviour that could undermine EU companies’ ability to trade competitively in the UK.

The document, which covers a range of issues including state aid, employment, climate change and the environment, says: ”The UK has voluntarily kept in step with the EU’s competition regime, with antitrust prohibitions written into UK law, and a system of independent merger control.

“The UK also has powers to investigate potential market failure and prevent, remedy or mitigate any adverse effects on competition. The UK would like to explore reciprocal commitments on transparency, procedural rights and safeguards.”

The document highlights the benefits of the UK Competition and Markets Authority that ensures open and fair competition through rigorous enforcement and is independent, well resourced and highly regarded internationally.

It adds: “The UK has a strong track record in consumer protection, underpinned by statutory safeguards and enforcement mechanisms in protecting consumers when they buy goods and services.

“The UK is committed to maintaining high levels of consumer protection, and proposes the UK and EU commit to reciprocal cooperation on consumer enforcement in its future agreement.  

“There should be provisions in the agreement, including allowing for the mutual exchange of information and evidence, and a framework to work collectively on areas of wider consumer detriment across the UK and the EU.”

The document adds that a rigorous approach to state aid will also be a critical component of promoting fair and open competition

It adds: “The UK has long been a strong proponent of a rigorous state aid system, and has contributed actively to the development of EU state aid rules, including their modernisation.

“The UK has consistently taken a proportionate approach to state aid, even during the financial crisis and is one of the lowest providers of state subsidies: in 2016 the UK gave 0.36% of GDP, which was half the EU average of 0.71%.

“Both the UK and the EU have much to gain from maintaining proper disciplines on the use of subsidies, and ensuring their future agreement is based on fair and open competition.”


Follow Chamber International on Twitter @ChamberInt and on Facebook for the latest in international trade.