In the lead-up to the UK General Election, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has advised the next government to utilise the soft power of UK plc and professional bodies to secure optimal trade opportunities.
Coinciding with the launch of the Labour Party’s vision for international trade, which ACCA hosted at its headquarters this week, ACCA has five recommendations for an effective post-Brexit international trade strategy:
1. Recognise the contribution of the business and professional services sector to UK GDP and revenue and ensure that the negotiations provide opportunities for this sector to continue to thrive.
2. Ensure international strategy is closely linked with UK industrial strategy
3. Break down existing barriers to SME internationalisation: provide government-backed insurance for UK SMEs to operate internationally and improve market access, for example through enhanced embassy support resources
4. Ensure that equivalence arrangements are considered early in the negotiations to ensure a smooth transition for UK financial services and to avoid any cliff-edge scenario
5. Ensure regulatory coherence between UK and EU markets for financial and professional services
Lloyd Powell, Head of ACCA Cymru Wales, says:
‘As the global body for professional accountants, ACCA has spent the last century building networks across 178 countries.
‘The next government needs to tap into the wealth of resources and extensive global network that professional bodies, such as ACCA, have to offer during the Brexit negotiations process. A strong international trade strategy is key to the UK’s successful departure from the single market.
‘While considerable resources from across government and business are, understandably, focused on the Brexit process, there must also be resource dedicated to worldwide trade and ensuring that the UK remains open for business, education and investment.’