Competition state-owned industries
The EU negotiation directives state that the EU UK partnership should ensure the application of EU state rules to the United Kingdom. For aid affecting trade between Great Britain and the EU, the UK should set up an independent and adequately resourced enforcement authority with effective powers to apply the rules should which should work in close cooperation with the EU Commission. Disputes about the application of the rule should be subject to dispute settlement.
The partnership should prohibit anti-competitive agreements and arrangements, abuse of a dominant position and concentrations of undertakings. Such behaviour should be prohibited unless remedied insofar as is affects trade between the EU and the UK. The parties should commit to effective enforcement of competition law, domestic administrative and judicial proceedings permitting the effective and timely action against the violation of competition rules and effective remedies.
The arrangements include provisions on state-owned enterprises designated monopolies and enterprises granted special rights and privileges to ensure they do not distort competition or create barriers to trade and investment. The EU contemplates the application of the EU state aid rules in the UK.
General Competition Law
Anti-competitive conduct on monopolies/concentration of market power which threatens to distort competition is to be prohibited unless remedied. State-owned enterprises designated monopolies and enterprises with special privileges and rights must not distort competition or create barriers to trade and investment.
The EU contemplates an independent enforcement authority in the UK to work closely with the Commission. It contemplates effective enforcement of competition law with legal proceedings and administrative proceedings to counter anti-competitive conduct.
The EU contemplates a commitment to the implementation of principles of good governance in taxation. It seeks continuation of the existing common standards at the end of the transition period in relation to the exchange of information on income, financial accounts, tax rulings beneficial ownership, potential cross-border tax planning anti-tax avoidance practices and reporting by credit institutions and investment firms. It seeks to require the UK to curb harmful tax measures, including a commitment to the code of conduct for business taxation.
The negotiation directions should ensure that the UK applies common standards applicable within the EU and UK at the end of the transition agreement in relation to the fight against tax avoidance practices and public country by country reporting by credit institutions and investment firms. The partnership should reaffirm the UK and EU’s commitment to curb harmful tax measures taking account the G20s OECD Tax base erosion. Plan
Labour and Social Protection
The EU seeks non-regression from common standards in place at the end of the transition period in labour and social protection at least in relation to
- fundamental rights at work
- Occupational Health & Safety
- fair working conditions and employment standards
- information and consultation rights at company level and restructuring
There should be continued rules on the protection and promotion of social dialogue in labour matters between workers and employers their organisations and governments. It contemplates domestic enforcement by authorities in the UK with an effective system of labour inspections at administrative and judicial proceedings.
The EU negotiation directions state that the partnership should ensure that level of labour and social protection provided by laws regulations and practices are not reduced via below the level provided by the common standards applicable at the end of the transition period in relation to at least the following areas (see above)
The EU seeks non-regression from the common standards in place at the end of the transition period in a number of areas below.
- access to environmental information
- public participation and access to justice in environmental matters
- environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment
- industrial emissions; air emissions and air quality targets and ceilings o nature and biodiversity conservation; waste management
- the protection and preservation of the aquatic environment
- the protection and preservation of the marine environment
- the prevention, reduction and elimination of risks to human health or the environment arising from the production, use, release and disposal of chemical substances
- climate change
This should reflect the fact that the EU and UK share a common biosphere in relation to cross-border pollution. There should be minimum commitments and standards, including targets. The basic precautionary principle and polluter pays principle should apply. There should be provision domestically for implementation by independent bodies in the UK.
More generally, the EU seeks commitment to promote the implementation of United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development. It should reaffirm the party’s commitment to effectively implement international agreements to tackle climate change, including the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change such as the Paris Convention.
The UK should maintain a system of carbon pricing at least the same effectiveness and scope as is provided by the common standards including targets agreed with the EU before the end of the transition period and applicable thereafter. The parties should consider making a UK national greenhouse gas emissions trading system with the EU’s emission trading system. This should be based on conditions agreed with the EU.
In line with the parties’ objectives of ensuring sustainable development, the partnership should promote the implementation of the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development. This should include
- adherence to international labour organisation conventions
- adherence to European social Charter conventions
- adherence to multilateral environmental agreements including on climate change
- climate change mitigation and related multilateral initiatives
- no lowering of higher domestic labour and environmental standards in order to encourage trade and investment
- promote the greater contribution of trade and investment to sustainable development
- trade in environmental and climate-friendly goods/services, voluntary sustainability assurance schemes, corporate social responsibility
- cooperation in international fora (e.g. G7, G20, UNFCCC)
- bilateral cooperation to increase the level of ambition on sustainable development and in the fight against climate change
- trade favouring low-emission, climate-resilient development
- trade in legally obtained and sustainably managed natural resources
- Provide for civil society participation and dialogue monitoring, implementation and enforcement
Where the parties increase the level of environmental, social, labour and climate protection set out above, they envisage that the partnership should prevent them from lowering those additional levels in order to encourage trade and investment. The partnership should promote the greater contribution of trade and investment to sustainable development including by addressing bilateral cooperation and international bodies area such as that facilitation of trade and environmentally and climate-friendly goods and services promotion of voluntary sustainability assurance schemes and of corporate social responsibility.
In particular, it envisages cooperation in bodies such as the UN FCC is the G7 G20 and bilaterally to increase the level of sustainable development and the fight against climate change. It should also promote trade favouring low emission climate-resilient development. In this partnership should promote trade in legally obtained and sustainably managed natural resources in particular in relation to biodiversity fauna and flora aquatic ecosystem forestry products and cover relevant international instruments and practices. The should encourage civil society participation and dialogue.
The partnership should provide for the monitoring of the implementation of commitments in relation to the social and environmental impacts of the envisaged partnership through public review, public scrutiny and mechanisms to avoid disputes as well as instruments of encouragement and trade-related cooperation activities.