The thinking behind regulatory alignment for goods

2018-10-25 17:23:35

The Chequers agreement proposes regulatory alignment between UK and EU for goods.

Goods trade forms 20% of the UK economy and goods cross regulatory boundaries every day. Indeed most (and growing in share) UK exports are already sent outside the EU bloc, and almost half of UK imports are from outside the EU.

Furthermore maintaining regulatory alignment prevents a key element of Brexit, the onshoring of decision making for legislation (in this case for goods), it weakens the UK’s negotiating hand when seeking trade deals and it puts the regulatory environment for UK companies at the whim of people in Belgium.

Would a mutual recognition agreement be unattainable because that would be seen to give the UK a competitive advantage?

On Northern Ireland, the volume of trade is low, it is a special case (essentially a war zone) and deserves special treatment - presumably a light touch monitoring solution would suffice. Even on “normal” highly trafficked borders, a tiny fractio