Press Release on Donald Tusk's Speech And The European Council's Draft Negotiation Guidelines.

Press Release on Donald Tusk's Speech And The European Council's Draft Negotiation Guidelines.

Today the European Council has published its own draft negotiation guidelines here for the EU-UK future relationship. This paper reflects the position of the 27 EU member states and will serve as a basis for the European Commission`s negotiations. It states:

“…the European Council has to take into account the repeatedly stated positions of the UK, which limit the depth of such a future partnership. Being outside the Customs Union and the Single Market will inevitably lead to frictions. Divergence in external tariffs and internal rules as well as absence of common institutions and a shared legal system, necessitates checks and controls to uphold the integrity of the EU Single Market as well as of the UK market. This unfortunately will have negative economic consequences.”

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council said: "It will make it more complicated and costly than today for all of us. This is the essence of Brexit."

Relevant to fashion and fashion education, is this update on certain EU programmes, e.g. in the fields of research, innovation, education and culture: "Any participation of the UK should be subject to the relevant conditions for the participation of third countries to be established in the corresponding programmes in the next Multiannual Financial Framework." This will have implications for the UK's engagement with programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus after Brexit Transition and therefore we at Fashion Roundtable urge all fashion and fashion education stakeholders to collaborate with us across European platforms, to avoid an education and talent brain drain.

Fashion Roundtable's EU Expert Eszter Kantor said: "Access to research and development funding programmes will change or as the document states the same conditions will apply to the UK as to other third countries. In the case of the EU research and development framework programmes, this means the UK will likely have a similar status as the US in that stakeholders can participate (but cannot lead projects) and they will not be financed for their work in the projects. If they need financing they will have to turn to their own government to request funding. Exception may apply to thematic areas where the third country has a specific knowledge base i.e. US in space research. This would be another area where fashion and the other creative industries could start discussion with European counterparts on how to ensure continuous collaborations for example by through national level projects with European stakeholders or by setting up alternative financing mechanisms. This is an interesting start to the discussions on future relationship."

EU member states support a zero tariff Free Trade Agreement (FTA), but border checks will still be maintained. The paper doesn`t say, but this means support for the European Commission's no border policy in Ireland, which may mean border checks for UK goods entering the NI and RoI.

This paper ignores and thereby dismisses Mrs. May's double custom system suggestion.

Free movement of people are not included in the FTA, so creative industries will have to work on reaching a deal on short term visas and freelance visas for the EU, such as the work we at Fashion Roundtable have been doing with http://freemovecreate.org. We have to ensure that access and business with our largest trading partner, does not become hindered by costly delays and red tape.

What would a post Brexit FTA look like? It cannot offer the same benefits as EU Membership and cannot amount to participation in the Single Market or parts thereof.

This agreement would address:

1) Trade in goods, with the aim of covering all sectors, which should be subject to zero tariffs and no quantitative restrictions with appropriate accompanying rules of origin. In this context, existing reciprocal access to fishing waters and resources should be maintained.

2) Appropriate customs cooperation, preserving the regulatory and jurisdictional autonomy of the parties and the integrity of the EU Customs Union.

3) Disciplines on technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) as well as a framework for voluntary regulatory cooperation.

4) Trade in services, with the aim of allowing market access to provide services under host state rules, including as regards right of establishment for providers, to an extent consistent with the fact that the UK will become a third country and the Union and the UK will no longer share a common regulatory, supervisory, enforcement and judiciary framework. The FTA should include ambitious provisions on movement of natural persons as well as a framework for the recognition of professional qualifications.

5) Other areas of interest to the Union, for example access to public procurement markets, investments and protection of intellectual property (IP) rights (vital to fashion design), including geographical indications.”

The draft guidelines repeat EU warnings that there can be "no cherry-picking" of participation in the single market for particular sectors of industry.

ENDS.

Written By Eszter Kantor and Tamara Cincik, Fashion Roundtable.

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