Britain, EU should aim for customs union

Wednesday, 14 Mar, 2018

Anti-Brexit demonstrators wave EU and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, January 30, 2018.

In return, British exporters to the European Union will have to pay £27 billion a year.

With only a year to go until Britain is due to leave the European Union, airlines are still seeking clarity about what Brexit will mean for their schedules and operations-even as they acknowledge that some progress is being made.

"Businesses across the bloc without Britain will face costs of 37 billion Euros per year, while Britain will take a 32-billion-euro hit, " Chance said.

In the absence of an agreement, trade between Britain and the other 27 European Union members would default to World Trade Organisation rules and tariffs, a sharp contrast to the access the United Kingdom has enjoyed as a member of the EU's single market.

"It will also result in increased cost for businesses".

Britain has said it will adhere to EU regulations for a time-limited period after it leaves the European Union in March 2019, and hopes the details of this transition, or implementation period, will be finalised at a summit with the EU on March 22-24. It has set aside £3 billion to prepare for all eventualities.

Ideally, Britain would stay in the customs union and single market, said the BDI, options the British government has rejected.

Ashton Whiteley economists say that if the United Kingdom remains in a type of customs union it would halve the costs for both Britain and the European Union. Britain is the second-biggest export market for German vehicle manufacturers.

According to the report, about 70 percent of the aggregate cost will split among five sectors in the United Kingdom: financial services, agriculture, the food industry, consumer goods, and the chemical industry.

In the European Union, the hardest hit sector would be the automotive sector, agriculture and food and drinks, chemicals and plastics, consumer goods and industrials, the report said.