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The Windsor Framework:

A New Dawn for UK-EU Business Relations

On the 22nd of February 2023, the UK and EU reached a historic agreement that would reshape their future relationship for decades to come. Dubbed the "Windsor Framework," this agreement seeks to strengthen trade and investment ties between the UK and EU, while also preserving the UK's sovereignty and regulatory autonomy.

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For businesses on both sides of the channel, the Windsor Framework represents a new dawn in their economic relationship. Here are some key takeaways and potential benefits of this agreement:

  • Reduced trade barriers: The Windsor Framework includes measures to reduce trade barriers and facilitate cross-border commerce, including simplified customs procedures and increased regulatory cooperation. This is great news for businesses that rely on the UK-EU trade relationship, as it will make it easier and cheaper to do business across borders.
  • Increased investment opportunities: The Windsor Framework also opens up new investment opportunities for businesses in both the UK and EU. This includes provisions to protect and promote foreign investment, as well as mechanisms to resolve investment disputes. This could lead to increased foreign direct investment, which can spur economic growth and create jobs.
  • Regulatory alignment: While the UK will maintain regulatory autonomy under the Windsor Framework, there will be a greater degree of regulatory alignment between the UK and EU. This means that businesses will not have to navigate two sets of regulations and standards, making it easier to trade across borders.
  • Certainty and stability: One of the biggest benefits of the Windsor Framework is the certainty and stability it provides for businesses. With a clear framework in place for future UK-EU relations, businesses can plan and invest for the long term with greater confidence.
  • Boost for SMEs: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are likely to benefit the most from the Windsor Framework. The reduced trade barriers and increased investment opportunities will make it easier for SMEs to trade and expand internationally, which can help them grow and compete in a global marketplace.

Overall, the Windsor Framework is a positive development for businesses on both sides of the channel. While there may be some challenges ahead as the agreement is implemented, the potential benefits are significant. As the UK and EU work together to build a stronger and more prosperous future, businesses have an important role to play in driving economic growth and job creation.

Border Target Operating Model

As the UK completes its transition out of the European Union, the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) has been put in place to manage the flow of goods across the UK-EU border. This model has been designed to ensure that businesses and individuals can continue to import and export goods efficiently while maintaining safety, security, and regulatory standards.

The BTOM provides clear guidance on customs declarations and border checks that businesses and individuals will need to follow when crossing the UK-EU border. This streamlined approach aims to reduce friction and avoid delays or disruptions to trade, particularly for businesses that rely on just-in-time supply chains.

With the BTOM, the UK government has taken a proactive approach to minimize any potential disruptions to trade and ensure that goods can continue to move freely across the UK-EU border. This model will not only help businesses to navigate the complexities of importing and exporting, but also enable them to make informed decisions about their supply chains and the movement of their goods.

BCC responds to publication of draft Border Target Operating Model

Responding to the publication of draft proposals from Government for new border controls, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“The British Chambers of Commerce is a big believer in the shift to a digital trade system. If it is done properly then smaller firms will see benefits when it comes to importing goods into Great Britain.

“Providing certainty for business is crucial and the focus must now be on delivering to the timescales set out. This will need a concerted effort to get the physical and digital infrastructure in place.

“It is then vital that companies, here and across the world, involved in sourcing and supply chains, are properly prepared for these changes and the introduction of new trusted trader arrangements.

“We look forward to engaging with our members and businesses across the UK on the details during the six-week consultation period ahead and the pre-implementation period thereafter, as well as Government, to ensure the switchover runs as smoothly as possible.”