FTA welcomes UK government’s proposed EU trade agreement

By Damian Brett

The UK’s Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed the UK government’s proposed Free Trade Agreement that will be used for discussions over trade arrangements with the European Union (EU).

The UK, which left the EU on January 1 and entered an 11-month transition period, yesterday published 13 documents, including the trade agreement, in what it describes as its “ideological approach” to discussions with Brussels.

The UK government said the free trade agreement draws on deals that the EU has with other countries but has separate agreements for fisheries, law enforcement and in technical areas covering aviation, energy and civil nuclear cooperation.

The EU chief negotiator with the UK, Michel Barnier, has said the proposals are not realistic.

Sarah Laouadi, European Policy Manager at FTA said she was encouraged by the draft Free Trade Agreement.

“The draft Free Trade Agreement published today by the UK’s Brexit negotiators is very positive, and takes into account all the areas of international trade which FTA has been asking government to prioritise over the past three years,” she said.

“It is a good starting point for UK negotiators to engage with the EU. As always, the devil is in the detail, and we look forward to working closely with government in the coming months on the areas of the agreement which still need work, to ensure that our members can have sufficient time to prepare for whatever the final outcome of the UK/EU negotiations may be.”

Despite the outbreak of the coronavirus, the UK government has said it will not extend the transition period.

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