Thank you for contacting me about the impact of the UK-EU trade deal on the fashion and textile industry.
The Trade and Cooperation Agreement was an important achievement that delivered on the key promises made in the EU referendum of 2016 and in the governing party’s manifesto which was put before the British people in the General Election of December 2019. It ensures that the UK takes back control over its money, borders, laws and fisheries with no role for the European Court of Justice.
I have been assured by my Ministerial colleagues that the Government is working closely with businesses in the fashion industry to adjust to the new trading environment and is very aware that some businesses are facing challenges. For instance, the Minister for Small Businesses, Consumers, and Labour Markets regularly engages with fashion and textile industry representatives, and DCMS recently organised a webinar with the British Fashion Council to provide clarity on the new rules. The British Fashion Council has also been invited to participate in a DCMS-led working group, composed of creative and cultural sector representatives and other Government departments, to look at issues regarding touring and key business travel in the EU.
I understand that the Government sought specific arrangements during negotiations which would have made it much easier for those involved in the fashion industry to tour EU Member States. Specifically, this included recognising fashion models as Independent Professionals (IPs) which would have helped give them guaranteed market access in the EU. Unfortunately, the EU refused these proposals.
I am, however, confident that the Government is doing its best to try to ensure that businesses get the support they need to trade effectively with Europe and seize new opportunities as the UK strikes trade deals with the world’s fastest growing markets. I will continue to monitor the situation carefully and raise your concerns with my ministerial colleagues whenever appropriate.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking