27th September, 2018
The Arab British Chamber of Commerce hosted a briefing on Brexit and its implications for UK-Arab trade on the afternoon of 27th September 2018. The successful Briefing on Brexit and FTAs held at the ABCC’s premises was attended by Arab ambassadors, Arab commercial attaches, ABCC Board members, senior executives, officials, policy makers, journalists and representatives of ABCC member companies. Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi, Director of Trade Services and Acting General Manager, ABCC, opened the session and welcomed attendees, conveying greetings from the Chamber’s Chairman, the Rt Hon Baroness Symons, who was unable to attend.
Mr Charlie Morris, Head of Public Engagement for Trade Agreement Continuity, at the UK Department for International Trade (DIT), spoke on the topic of “Trade Agreements Continuity”. Mr Morris explained that in the event of a deal with the European Union, the UK would be able to see new free trade deals coming into force after January 2021. He stressed that the UK government hoped to achieve a deal with the EU that ensured no disruption to trade at the point of exit in 2019 by seeking to ensure the continuity of existing agreements.
Mr Liam Smyth, Director – Trade Facilitation, British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), considered the current state of UK-EU negotiations and the preferred outcome for business and exporters. Businesses didn’t want to find goods delayed at the border due to lack of agreement of customs and they also needed their access to skilled workforce to continue. Ms Victoria Hewson, Counsel to International Trade and Competition Unit, Institute of Economic Affairs, spoke on “Plan A+ - an Alternative Approach”. She highlighted a new report that had been published by the IEA think tank which was titled, “Plan A+ Creating a Prosperous Post-Brexit UK” which argued that the government’s Chequers proposals were unworkable.
Mr Thomas Lake, Senior Political Risk Analyst,Fitch Solutions, outlined the political risks that were associated with Brexit and explained the likeliest outcome was a “soft Brexit” based on the expert analysis that Fitch had undertaken. Finally, the floor was given to the event’s sponsor, Mr Gareth Sean Kobrin, CEO, VATGlobal, who looked at the VAT considerations of leaving the single market and the customs union. The well attended event concluded with a reception where attendees were able to engage in informal networking, a popular feature of ABCC events.Back To 2018 Gallery