Jacob Rees-Mogg has thrown his weight behind calls for the UK to unilaterally adopt other countries’ product regulations post-Brexit to avoid creating new red tape for international trade.
Rees-Mogg, who is the new minister for Brexit opportunities, said proposals drawn up by the free market Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) think tank should be welcomed by “anyone who believes in free trade”.
The UK is set to enforce a new set of product accreditation standards from 1 January 2023, after continuing to use the EU’s for the first three years post- Brexit .
This would mean that products would have to be assessed to new UKCA certifications instead of CE as the EU does not want to continue mutual recognition in the long-term.
The IEA report said the UK should unilaterally keep the EU’s CE standards anyway and that this policy “should be adopted for all international trade where the rules of the exporting country meet the UK’s standards”.
The think tank claims that non-tariff barriers, like safety regulations, can mean the equivalent of a 20 per cent tariff on some goods.
“The UK has an opportunity to lead the world with a radical trade policy of recognising regulations, without requiring reciprocity, starting with the EU. This will transform the UK’s trade policy, ensuring goods which emulate our own standards are traded freely into the UK without unnecessary regulatory barriers,” the IEA’s Victoria Hewson said.
Rees-Mogg added: “Anyone who believes in free trade will welcome this report. Non-tariff barriers are the delight of protectionists and should be removed wherever possible.”