As you know, the UK government has started or will shortly start negotiations on a new set of free trade agreement (FTA) with a number trade partners including, but not limited to, Canada, GCC and Mexico. BEIS’ engagement with the industrial goods sectors consistently shows that a large number of UK companies use EU inputs in production, so BEIS have set out to improve their evidence base and further expand their understanding of the supply chains and production patterns ahead of the start of these negotiations. This is to ensure BEIS can negotiate rules that will allow UK businesses to take advantage of the new FTAs as fully as possible.
It is worth noting that the current agreements with Canada and Mexico are roll-overs from EU Free Trade Agreements and so allow EU content to count as UK for Rules of Origin. This is unlikely to be maintained in new stand-alone agreements, which, we presume, is why BEIS want to know how important it is for UK manufacturers.
To help them gather this evidence, they have prepared a survey which you can find at https://beis.fra1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0eaTbfmEnJjcgwS; the deadline for responses is 24th April and while we realise that this is quite short, we would urge manufacturing members to take this opportunity to emphasise the importance of EU inputs to your business (assuming, of course, that it they are significant).