The UK’s vital services sector – worth £317bn in exports in 2019 – was neglected in the trade agreement and badly needs negotiations to restart, a House of Lords committee says.
It raises the alarm over:
* Financial services jobs moving to the continent – after Amsterdam overtook London as Europe’s leading share-trading centre
But the Lords EU services sub-committee says this is a mistake, criticising the delay in setting up a planned “Partnership Council and other governance arrangements”.
Instead, ministers should explore “a side agreement” to help professionals and talk to the EU to rescue music tours “before international business travel resumes”, it says.
“The services sector is at the heart of the UK economy, so it is essential that the government and EU makes improvements to smooth UK-EU services trade. Too much is at stake if we don’t,” says Baroness Donaghy, the committee’s chair.
The Independent revealed how the government threw out an EU proposal to retain permit-free tours – and has since failed to make moves to avert what creative artists believe is a disaster.
Similarly, a promised ‘memorandum of understanding’ to help financial services has not materialised, amid growing doubts that any agreement will be reached.
And, although a “new Erasmus” scheme was rushed out, it will not fund tuition fees or travel costs for most students, or rescue exchange trips by overseas students to this country.
The problems facing service industries have been largely obscured by the crisis that has engulfed exporters, with border red tape sparking a dramatic collapse in sales.
On creative artists, the peers say: “The government and EU should work together to remedy this situation before international business travel resumes.”
And, on students: “The committee does not see the Turing scheme as a replacement for the Erasmus programme, as it does not allow for inbound mobility, and hopes that the government will consider rejoining.”
The picture is more “positive” for cooperation on digital trade and for scientific research decision through association with the Horizon Europe programme.