Last reviewed 17 May 2021

A leading UK business organisation has joined with the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise to publish a roadmap for cooperation between the UK and EU on a positive long-term global trade agenda.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) said that A trade policy roadmap – Sweden, EU and the UK, available at https://www.iod.com/Portals/0/PDFs/Policy/A-Trade-Policy-Roadmap.pdf, outlines areas and proposals where the UK and EU share common long-term interests in the rules-based system.

It also sets out recommendations for joint, as well as coordinated unilateral, action to keep trade free, fair and sustainable.

Dr Roger Barker, Director of Policy and Corporate Governance for the IoD, said: “This report is a timely reminder that on the big issues for trade, there is much more in common than divides the UK and EU. With Brexit in the rear-view mirror, it is time for all sides to focus on the partnership side of our new relationship.”

Among the report’s recommendations, the two bodies suggest expanding World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreements, improving transparency on trade and using the bilateral trade deal to leverage global progress on e-commerce and subsidy rules.

They also support cooperation on data flows and digital regulation, enhancing trade policy for the green transition and using trade arrangements to further development priorities.

Anna Stellinger, Deputy Director General, Head of International and EU Affairs at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, said: “The UK has over the past decades been not only one of the major trading partners of Sweden, with crucial flows of goods and services, but also Sweden’s closest ally in the EU. Our countries – and businesses – are profoundly anchored in the conviction that openness, trade and competitiveness is the way forward.”