The trade and security deal the UK Government struck with the EU is a bare-bones deal for tariff-free trade in goods, but a no-deal for many other business sectors, creating significant frictions and less EU market access from 1 January, says leading London accountancy firm Blick Rothenberg.
Alex Altmann, a partner and the head of the firm’s Brexit advisory group, says: “Zero-tariffs and no quota restrictions is certainly good news for traders and consumers, but the agreement is far from being a comprehensive free trade deal the EU has struck with other countries. Many businesses are now facing a cliff-edge Brexit on 1 January, like the vital UK services industry.”
“Four and a half years after the Brexit referendum we have a trade deal for goods only as there was simply not enough time to agree much else. This can only be the first version of a UK/EU trade deal and the UK Government must continue negotiating with the EU to include other business sectors in the years to come, to allow for greater market access to the EU.”
Altmann who is also a Chairman at the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany, added: “The UK Government must now show flexibility and announce an implementation phase for this trade deal to help UK businesses adjusting to the new trade rules with the EU.”
“A phonebook-style legal text with over 2,000 pages presented to the business community on Christmas Eve is too late to be fully implemented in 7-days’ time. The UK Government must now show flexibility and allow for various easement measures in the weeks and months ahead so that businesses can cope and recover from the economic crisis we are currently facing.”