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UK set to impose post-Brexit trade barriers and diverge from EU sanctions

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Tuesday 11 Feb 2020

UK set to impose post-Brexit trade barriers and diverge from EU sanctions

(Sharecast News) - The UK government is set to disrupt business in the country and for companies operating in Europe as it plans to diverge from the European Union's sanctions regime and impose trade barriers post-Brexit.
The sanctions system, which currently makes it hard for companies to do business with people, firms and countries who have been blacklisted, will no longer be used by the UK government.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab is expected to outline a new British sanctions regime in February, targeted at individuals deemed responsible for human rights abuses. It will come alongside the publication of a list of people whose assets in the UK are to be frozen.

The new policy is intended reduce concerns over the importance assigned to human rights post-Brexit as the UK could be intent on courting new business and trade opportunities in exchange for disregarding basic rights.

It is believed that the new system will be closer to US regulations than to those of the EU.

The regulations tend to be a grey area, leaving plenty of room for companies to trip up. The UK's new sanctions regime could entail additional costs and complexity for businesses already facing many Brexit-related challenges.

Michael Gove recently told business that trade with Europe was going to undergo significant change and that there would be inevitable border checks for "almost everybody" who imports from the EU after the transition period.

Gove warned there would be checks on food and goods of animal origin, plus customs declarations and mandatory safety and security certificates required for all imports.

"You have to accept we will need some friction. We will minimise it but it is an inevitability of our departure," he told delegates at a Cabinet Office event held in central London on Monday, entitled Preparing Our Border for the Future Relationship.

"The only way in which you could avoid those customs procedures and regulatory checks would be if you were to align with EU law and if you were to align with EU law we would be undermining the basis on which the prime minister secured the mandate at the general election to affirm our departure," Gove said according to The Guardian.

He also reportedly said that the UK would have enough time to make the changes required and spoke of pursuing a Canada or Australian-type trade deal with the EU.


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