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European Affairs News & Policy Updates – 19 November

By November 18, 2021No Comments

New £1trn post-Brexit export strategy set out

A new export target of £1 trillion has been announced by the UK Government as part of the Prime Minster’s plan to overhaul Britain’s post-Brexit export strategy. It is hoped that the figure will be reached by 2030, although previous Conservative Governments have failed to reach this level by 2020. International Trade Week 2021 is taking place from 15 to 19 November across the UK, aiming to encourage UK businesses to export and sell to the world. The week-long event will aim to provide businesses and first-time exporters with the advice needed to start the export process.

The Prime Minister is under pressure to build connections for potential trade with countries across the globe post-Brexit. Many businesses have raised concerns of extra costs and red tape being imposed on trading operations, rather than benefits, following the UK’s departure from the EU. A new “made in the UK, sold in the world” campaign will be launched alongside other initiatives to boost overseas trade by providing financial support. Small businesses are expected to get financial support to attend trade shows, conferences, and exhibitions.

The Minister for Exports, Mike Freer will be launching a new “Made in the UK, Sold to the World” campaign with Mayor Street at International Trade Week’s headline event in Birmingham. The campaign will champion local export success stories and promote opportunities in international markets to take advantage of the global demand for the high quality goods the UK is known for.

Survey shows high numbers of voters wanting to reverse Brexit 

Surveyed voters have stated a wish to reverse Brexit, amid shortages and clashes with EU nations. A survey by Savanta ComRes found that 53% back membership of the EU, while 47% would prefer to remain outside the bloc. According to the Independent, one in ten Leave voters want to rejoin the bloc, as do one in five Conservative supporters, the poll found – while 40 per cent of adults back a fresh referendum within the next five years.

The survey company stated that these results were showing “momentum shifting towards a majority who would now vote to rejoin the EU”, despite no political party advocating the policy.” “Issues such as disrupted supply chains and spats with fellow European leaders over-fishing and vaccines may have cut through, although the results are still on a knife-edge,” said research director Chris Hopkins.

Small exporters are moving operations out of the UK due to Brexit, survey reveals

A survey from Institute of Directors for the Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ programme has found that more than one in 10 SMEs have lost trade with the EU since Brexit. 13% of the exporters reported that trade with EU partners has fallen by up to 100% since the end of the Brexit transition period. 26% of SMEs said they are considering moving some of their European operations outside the UK, while 16% have already moved some or all of these into the single market due to Brexit.

New service to fast-track key medicines and medical devices to the UK launches

A new International Express Freight Service (IEFS) has launched to transport medicines and medical devices within days. Products at risk of shortage will be fast-tracked to the UK to provide an “uninterrupted supply using the quickest services available”. The IEFS has launched to deliver these to the UK “rapidly when a supplier’s own logistical arrangements are disrupted, to ensure patients can continue to access the treatments they need”.

The service will aim to collect and deliver small parcels within 24 to 48 hours and pallets or shipments within 2 to 4 working days, with specialised products with a controlled or regulated handling requirement fast-tracked within 24 hours.

The International Express Freight Service is part of the Department of Health and Social Care’s National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) Centre to help ensure the continuity of medicines and medical supplies in the event a supplier’s own logistical arrangements are disrupted.

You can find begin the registering process for the Service at this page.

Newsletter with TIR Updates

HMRC have uploaded a new newsletter containing updates and guidance on Community, Common Transit and Transport International Routiers (TIR). The newsletter contains an update on the closure of the email channel to access the New Computerised Transit Service (NCTS). For more information, click here.