"News Update: The UK’s departure from the EU" UK Department for International Trade
The UK leaves the European Union
On January 31 the UK left the European Union. In a short address shortly before, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it 'a moment of real national renewal and change'. In his subsequent speech in Greenwich on February 3, Mr Johnson said, 'We have the opportunity, we have the newly recaptured powers, we know where we want to go, and that is out into the world'. He also reinforced his desire to re-invigorate relationships 'with old friends and partners' including Australia and New Zealand.
You can read the Prime Minister's full speech here.
The Prime Minister's written statement to Parliament setting out the Government's proposed approach to negotiations with the EU in respect of a future relationship can also be found here.
The Transition Period
Following the UK's departure from the EU, the UK has entered a transition period which will continue until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements. During this period the current rules surrounding trade, travel, and business for the UK and the EU will remain the same,
For further information on the 'Transition Period', and how to prepare your business for the new rules in 2021, visit our website.
Free Trade Agreements
Within the next three years, the UK Government aims to have 80% of UK trade with countries covered by free trade agreements. Australia and New Zealand are two of four proposed bilateral deals prioritised, alongside the US and Japan, and represent an important opportunity to deepen our trade and investment relationship.
In a written ministerial statement on February 6, the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, set out the Government's proposed approach to negotiations with priority partners.
Consultation - UK Global Tariff
During the transition period, the UK will continue to apply the EU's Common External Tariff (CET) to goods imported from outside the EU, except where a Free Trade Agreement or trade preference scheme applies. After the transition period ends, the UK will be free to set its own 'Most Favoured Nation' (MFN) applied tariff schedule. This bespoke tariff schedule will apply to goods imported into the UK from 1 January 2021, unless a preferential arrangement applies.
To inform the UK's future MFN tariff schedule, the UK Global Tariff (UKGT), the Government has launched an online public consultation. The consultation seeks views on:
- potential amendments to the CET
- individual commodity codes and corresponding tariffs
- MFN tariffs and the importance of tariffs to sectors.
The consultation will close on 5 March 2020 and is open to all sectors of society and international stakeholders. For more information, visit our website.
Trade with the UK - new tool for exporters
The UK's Department for International Trade (DIT) has launched the 'Trade with the UK' tool for businesses exporting to the UK. This free tool provides up-to-date information on commodity codes, tariffs and charges, rules of origin, trade agreements and regulations all in one place. Explore 'Trade with the UK' here.
As always, DIT's team in Australia and New Zealand will continue to provide trade and investment services and practical support to Australian and New Zealand companies looking to set-up and invest in the UK, and those looking to trade or partner with UK companies.
For any specific enquiries you may have regarding the practical implications of the UK's departure from the EU, please visit the GOV.UK website.
If you are seeking more details on the agreements governing the UK's exit from the EU, you can find more information in the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration.