analysis

Just how damaging is this Brexit deal for UK services?

Boris Johnson has suggested the failure to secure any major liberalisation of services trade in the agreement with the EU is of little consequence. Is there any truth in that? Are the concerns about the impact of Brexit on services exaggerated?  Ben Chu investigates

Friday 01 January 2021 13:33
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<p>At the turn of the millennium UK services exports to the EU accounted for 25 per cent of total exports. Last year they were worth 42 per cent of the total</p>

At the turn of the millennium UK services exports to the EU accounted for 25 per cent of total exports. Last year they were worth 42 per cent of the total

The Brexit headlines have, perhaps understandably, been dominated for years by the visible consequences of leaving the EU: the prospect of border chaos and major tariffs on some high-profile goods exports such as cars and fish.

But the question of the impact of this eleventh-hour agreement trade agreement with the UK’s “invisible” trade – our services exports – is now coming into much greater focus too.

The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, highlighted the issue in the Commons on Wednesday when he pointed out that the scant protection for UK services exports in the deal as a “gaping hole”.

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