SFA meets European Commission Negotiator Michel Barnier in Dublin
On Monday, 27 January the SFA met with European Commission Chief Negotiator on Brexit, Michel Barnier, at a Stakeholder event at the European Commission Representation Office Dublin. The meeting was ahead of the UK’s departure of the EU, on Friday January 31st. Mr Barnier discussed the next phase of Brexit negotiations, dealing with the future relationship between the EU and the UK, including trade.
In recognition of the important role played by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the European Commission proposed negotiating guidelines call for an SME chapter. The proposal states that the envisaged partnership should include a specific chapter on SMEs which should assist SMEs to take full advantage of the envisaged partnership, inter alia through increasing the level of awareness among SMEs and enhancing their access to useful information on rules, regulations and procedures related to doing business, including public procurement. This reference builds on from the SME Chapter in the EU-Japan FTA .
Brexit will remain a priority for small firms in 2020. The SFA will continue to engage at national and EU level on members’ behalf. Emphasising that the upcoming negotiations should ensure no trade quotas, no tariffs, minimum bureaucracy and a level playing field between the EU and the UK. In addition, we will highlight that the transition period needs to be of sufficient length for small businesses to plan and prepare for any new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) arrangements and avoid cliff edges.
The SFA will continue to update members on this issue. In the meantime if you have any queries please contact Elizabeth Bowen at firstname.lastname@example.org.