The first two government bills that will pave the way for the UK’s new trading relationship with the EU have been announced.
The Trade Bill and the Customs Bill set the groundwork to becoming an independent global trading nation, according to the Department for International Trade (DiT).
Key measures in the Trade Bill include the transition of over 40 existing trade agreements between the EU and other countries; and a new independent UK body, the Trade Remedies Authority, to defend UK businesses against unfair trade practices.
The Customs Bill will allow the government to create a standalone customs system and amend the VAT processes. As well as specifying what duties are payable, the Customs Bill will “maintain a functioning movement of goods from the day we leave the EU” continuing the VAT and excise regimes in line with the final deal reached in negotiations.
Further tax-related elements of the UK’s trade policy will be legislated in the Treasury’s Customs Bill as part of the creation of a new tariff system.
Secretary of State for trade Liam Fox said: “For the first time in over 40 years the UK will be able to shape our own trade and investment agenda – and we are determined that businesses and consumers can take advantage of this opportunity.
“We are getting on with delivering a successful Brexit, by seeking a deep and special partnership with the EU, and by boosting our existing trading relationships with old partners while opening up access to new and exciting markets across the world.”