by Vicky Ford MEP
"When I talk to key sectors of the British economy about what they want to retain from a new UK/EU relationship while tariffs of course remain a concern, it is the non-tariff barriers which are frequently cited as being more important.
For example, car manufacturers want to keep the mutual recognition of vehicle testing so once safety and emissions tests are passed in the UK they don’t need to go and get the same vehicle tested and approved again. Digital entrepreneurs want to retain access to cross-border data flows. Pharma companies wish to continue to seamlessly run cross border clinical trials with a single approval for the new medicines or medical devices that result as well as to enjoy the ability to avoid double testing by having their UK manufacturing facilities certified as compliant with EU standards by UK regulators. The young Irish Occupational Therapist I met working at my local hospital wants to know that her qualifications will continue to be recognised on both sides of the Irish Sea and for our banks it’s important that once they pass regulatory tests in the UK they can market the same mortgages, loans, insurance in other countries without additional requirements.
All of these are covered by the current trade arrangements we have between the UK and the rest of the EU but none of these issues are covered in any detail or with any certainty by the Canada trade deal."