The European Union and the United Kingdom have not yet reached an agreement on . the rules on which trade between countries will take place, said Łukasz Ambroziak, an expert of the Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics, told PAP. The United Kingdom is the third largest trading partner for Poland, and the second largest in the case of food.
Negotiations on cooperation under the new conditions have been ongoing since February, they were carried out despite the pandemic, but so far nothing has been established – said the expert. He added that the positions of the European Union and Great Britain on further cooperation were “so far” divergent. “There is no will to come to an agreement either, each party sticks to its concept,” he added. further negotiations for up to two years, but the British prime minister does not want to delay the talks and does not agree to concessions.
According to the EU expert, the best scenario for cooperation with Great Britain is on the current terms, i.e. those applicable this year, during the transitional period; The UK is part of the single market, has no customs, free movement of goods, services, capital and workers and is treated – in principle – still as a Member State.
As he said, a much worse scenario, at least for the EU, is the so-called hard Brexit, ie the introduction of border controls, customs, etc. The British are interested in “getting away from this regulatory umbrella of the Union”. They do not want to agree to the EU conditions, because the whole idea of Brexit was that the country wants to be independent.
The position of the British government so far indicates that the preferred form of cooperation will be a free agreement. trade.
According to Ambroziak, if the deal is not concluded, tariffs will return. It is not good for trade. EU duties on the import of certain goods, such as agri-food or automotive, are not very liberal, and the UK depends on the export of such goods. In turn, the British will also introduce a customs tariff that will affect – in the case of Poland – mainly, inter alia, meat products and their products as well as dairy products.
Ambroziak also pointed out that the talks with the British also concern the issue of how to treat trade with Northern Ireland. “And this matter is very complicated” – he noted. In addition, the EU wants the United Kingdom, although it will not be a member of the Community, to respect norms and standards such as those in force in the EU, for example regarding labor matters or environmental protection.
“Position Great Britain is not conducive to reaching a compromise, and the differences are fundamental. Concluding such an agreement this year seems very unlikely “- assessed Ambroziak.
In the opinion of the Ministry of Agriculture,” on at this stage, it is impossible to determine what the EU-UK relations will look like from January 1, 2021. It is certain that they will not be the same as today and there will be additional obligations and restrictions in trade with the UK. shortly before the end of the transition period “- believes the ministry.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, it cannot be ruled out that by the end of 2020 the future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom will not be settled . Then, mutual economic relations will be based on the principles of the World Trade Organization, which means, inter alia, introduction of customs duties and customs controls (as currently for countries outside the European Union), changes in the rules of settling VAT, excise duty, the need to adapt entrepreneurs and exporters to British regulations, restrictions for transport companies, etc. It is also possible to negotiate an agreement concerning only some of the areas of mutual relations and leaving the remaining areas without a contract.
Negotiations should be completed by October 15th.
The United Kingdom is our third largest trading partner, and in the case of food – the second. In 2019 (preliminary data of the Ministry of Finance CIHZ), the value of Polish exports of agri-food products amounted to over EUR 2.7 billion, and the addition balance was at the level of EUR 2.1 billion. Food exports to Great Britain account for 8.9 percent. of all exports of these products against 9.3 percent. in 2018. In the first half of 2020, the value of food exports to Great Britain reached the value of EUR 1.5 billion, i.e. 9%
The main export item is meat, mainly poultry and its products. The next ones are chocolate and products containing cocoa, bread, confectionery and cookies, fresh and chilled vegetables, as well as various types of dairy products, including cheese and cottage cheese and the so-called dairy accessories.
author: Anna Wysoczańska
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