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EU and UK SMEs urge for an agreement on Brexit

28 July 2020
by smeunited -- last modified 28 July 2020

In a letter to the Brexit negotiators SMEunited reiterates the necessity to promptly reach an agreement defining the framework for the future EU-UK relations. EU and UK SMEs are concerned that there is still no progress in negotiations. They urge for a robust trade agreement which supports the integrity of the Single Market whilst maintaining close business relations between the EU and the UK.


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The letter is accompanied by the SMEunited "Declaration on the future relationship between the EU and the UK" outlining a set of principles for the future trade agreement. "Currently, the lack of legal certainty and predictability for the immediate and medium-term future, as well as the lack of progress against the clock are major causes for concerns. An agreement on a level-playing field that complies with the European social and environmental standards will allow EU and UK SMEs to continue their activities uninterrupted, prosper and grow", stated SMEunited President Alban Maggiar.

SMEunited emphasises the importance of common principles for regulatory approaches, as part of a standards strategy, to ensure reciprocity in technical standards. Full road connectivity between the UK and the EU must be guaranteed, to allow SMEs from both sides to operate without any delays or barriers. Administrative burdens, additional legislation and tariffs or costly and time-consuming customs procedures need to be avoided so far as possible.

Clear rules on the provision of cross-border services are required, in order for companies providing services or having suppliers in both markets to be able to plan ahead. The new agreement should include a standalone SME Chapter, ensuring transparent and easily accessible information especially on tariffs and the rules of origin. An SME contact point or information portal should support small and medium sized businesses overcome the challenges and grasp opportunities of the FTA to the fullest.

"The Declaration is a joint effort of SME-organisations from both sides of the Channel, which proves that a common vision on the future relationship is still possible." concluded Mr. Maggiar.

SMEunited, formally known as UEAPME, is the association of crafts and SMEs in Europe with around 70 member organisations from over 30 European countries. SMEunited is a recognised employers' organisation and European Social Partner and acts on behalf of crafts and SMEs in the European Social Dialogue and in discussions with the EU institutions.

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