C’est la rentrée !


C’est la rentrée !

The start of September means it is back to school for so many children, in Brussels too negotiators are also reconvening around the Brexit table; but to negotiate what? The EU wants to discuss the terms of the financial settlement, citizens’ rights and the border question in Ireland before discussing anything else, whilst the British want discussions on future customs agreements and trading issues to run in parallel with the EU’s three starting points.

What is certain is that the effects of Brexit are seriously starting to be felt in the United Kingdom, notably: increasing inflation, falling economic growth… Lots of elements that impact the morale of many households and therefore increase the pressure on the government for a clearer direction. A positive consequence for businesses, however, is the United Kingdom’s recognition that the economy must come first. And for the majority of companies, the demand is simple: minimise the changes and impacts that Brexit may have. The cliff edge scenario must be anticipated and avoided.

On this subject, at the end of September, the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce will publish the results of our survey ‘Brexit Ambition’, carried out in conjunction with all of the other British Chambers of Commerce in Europe.  Whilst we await the release of this survey, I ll take the opportunity to share with you below a summary of the policy papers which the UK Government Department for Exiting the European Union has prepared during the Summer recess.

So, I wish everyone an excellent Rentrée, and invite you to prepare yourself for the worst, but also await the best that Brexit and its potential consequences may bring.


A summary of the position papers proposed by the British Government:

Goods available on the market (The United Kingdom’s position)

The United Kingdom’s ambition is to seek an agreement with the EU that allows the freest and most harmonious trade possible. The document presents four principles to ensure a tidy and supple withdrawal from the EU with regard to the availability of goods.

  • To ensure that the goods presented on the market before the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union can continue to be marketed to the United Kingdom and to the EU without constraints or supplementary restrictions;
  • To avoid a duplication of activities in compliance upgrade that the companies have carried out before the withdrawal;
  • To ensure the security of medical patients and the protection of consumers in the EU up to 27 and in the United Kingdom are a primary concern;
  • In the case where goods are provided with services, the provision of these services should not be submitted to any restrictions.

Confidentiality and access to documents (The United Kingdom’s position)

The document underlines the importance of establishing a framework for the continuity of confidentiality and the protection of official documents exchanged between the EU and the United Kingdom, whilst the latter is still a member.

Civil judiciary cooperation (Document concerning the future partnership)

This document seeks to explain our approach regarding civil judiciary cooperation – to guarantee a future agreement in the pursuit of cooperation with the EU. The paper states that it is in both the United Kingdom’s and the EU’s interest that citizens, consumers, businesses and families have a clear judicial framework at their disposal, to support their cross-border activities after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU. The best framework is one based on reciprocity, reflecting the current system.

Application and regulation of the disagreements (Document concerning the future partnership)

This document outlines the United Kingdom’s position regarding the application of the law and then proceeds to examine the existing mechanisms to resolve international disagreements.

The United Kingdom is clear on the fact that the ECJ should not have direct jurisdiction over the United Kingdom concerning the rights and obligations ensuing from every agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU.

This corresponds to numerous precedents.

Data protection (Document concerning the future partnership)

The document explains how the United Kingdom seeks to ensure to the continued protection and exchange of personal data between the EU and the United Kingdom. The document proposes an ambitious model for the protection and exchange of personal data with the EU, based on the alignment of British and European regulations.


By Olivier Campenon, President of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce


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