Britain to create post-Brexit group to handle trade disputes

Flags are seen at the EU Commission headquarters ahead of a first full round of talks on Brexit, Britain's divorce terms from the European Union, in Brussels
Flags are seen at the EU Commission headquarters ahead of a first full round of talks on Brexit, Britain's divorce terms from the European Union, in Brussels, Belgium July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

August 2, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain plans to create a new body to investigate and tackle incidents of unfair trade, such as dumping, when it leaves the European Union, according to a details of a job advert on a government website.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said Britain will leave the EU’s customs union when it leaves the bloc, in order to pursue its own trade agreements with countries around the world. Britain’s trade policy is currently handled through the EU.

“We need to develop the UK’s approach to tackling allegations of unfair competition and build the capability and capacity to investigate complaints and enforce the rules,” the government said in an advert for a “digital design lead”.

The “UK Trade Remedies Organisation”, with about 130 staff, would be part of the Department for International Trade, and would be legislated for in a new Trade Bill to be introduced to parliament in September.

The advert predicts the organization would need to be operational by October 2018 to take on new investigations which would otherwise be concluded by EU authorities after Britain’s planned exit in March 2019.

Delivering “a fully functional and fit-for-purpose organization” in this timeframe will be “a huge challenge”, it adds. The person taking the job advertised would help design the organization.

“What we expect to deliver and the related timescales could change as our detailed policy thinking develops, as the legislation moves through parliament, or as a result of the on-going negotiation with the EU,” it said.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and William James, editing by Alister Doyle)