Since the UK general election in December, UK stakeholders complained there have been no consultations on the future UK-EU negotiators. They say the lack of transparency in the negotiations with the EU is higher than in the trade talks the UK holds in parallel with Japan and the US (for these negations, stakeholders were invited to engage via the Trade Advisory Groups and other panels). Some campaigners feared that standards could be weakened behind closed doors. Greenpeace asked the government to bring forward a transparent Trade Bill and to include a provision in the Environment Bill stating that existing commitments won’t backslide.
Lately, UK industry became increasingly concerned over UK officials’ statements on regulatory autonomy and government’s preference for a basic free trade deal with the EU (similar to Canada FTA), despite important negative consequences this would have on UK businesses. A trade specialist said not being in touch with trade groups is not normal practice. Governments need to be informed about businesses’ needs and the possible sensitive sectors. Their exclusion can bring fundamental risks.
Previously this week, the Telegraph announced though that Michael Gove will meet with several industry representatives. However, business groups fear this is “too little, too late”.