Sara’s Blog: International trade priorities for the new PM and member benefits to ease holiday stress

The summer recess marks a respite period for many from an intense period of policymaking affecting trade. But as a new Prime Minister takes office on 6th September, the in-tray on international trade issues will be daunting.

First, The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill completed its Commons stages this week. This provides UK Ministers with the legal powers domestically to over-write the Protocol and introduce check-free, friction-free movements of goods East-West and West-East across the Irish Sea for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The EU is expected to launch new legal proceedings against the UK Government within days for alleged breaches of the Withdrawal Agreement. Should the Bill become law the EU is expected to respond with further actions including safeguard measures (tariffs) on selected UK exports while the matter is resolved. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is prioritising a negotiated solution, but potentially affected companies should be taking advice now to mitigate potential problems.

Second, the Government launched its consultation document yesterday on a Single Trade Window (STW) designed to be rolled out from December 2023 as part of the new Target Operating Model (TOM). This will incorporate border control processes for goods entering GB from the EU and the rest of the world. The STW is designed to provide a single user portal for a range of border and customs processes and greater efficiency in holding times for goods.

Third, an autumn campaign on preference utilisation rates among SMEs is being prepared. The BCC is involved in discussions with the UK Government about outputs and delivery, following research findings from members that awareness and ways to use new trade agreements being made by the UK with other trading partners was very low. The aim is to increase volumes of exports and numbers of companies exporting. Initially five markets will be prioritised: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and Norway.

Fourth, an intensive series of negotiating rounds will be required to complete some and progress other key trade negotiations. Negotiations with India are expected to be completed by 24th October. Canada trade agreement negotiations are expected to conclude by the end of the year to tie-in with UK accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Negotiations with the Gulf Co-operation Council, Mexico and Israel are also getting underway.

Fifth, delivering an export strategy which provides a pathway to stronger export-led growth will be key this year. The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast in last autumn’s Budget, export growth between 8-9% this year. Trade data from the first half of 2022 puts UK export performance short of that growth trajectory. The BCC is putting plans to DIT to boost export volumes.

So, a busy autumn ahead, as well as unpredictable events such as the impact of the war in Ukraine on supply chains. Keep in touch with us at the contacts below as we guide you through this uncertain period. You can also visit

Summer holidays are here and peace of mind when travelling is important to us all.

So, the good news is that as a member Staffordshire Chambers you automatically benefit from a massive discount on AA Roadside Assistance and a discount at car parks at most major UK airports.

Whether you have a small or large fleet of cars or a single commercial vehicle, we can help you to keep your vehicles on the move with Chamber Roadside Assistance.

In partnership with the AA, we’ll ensure you keep motoring at an exclusive competitive price – you can receive up to 67% discount on the cost of business breakdown cover.

We also have a deal with APH airport car parking which slices a further 15% from their already competitive rates. APH offer valet parking and free transport to and from your terminal to get your holiday off to the right start.

And both discounts can be passed on to your employees, making great benefits to add to their package. Get in touch with us to activate these great benefits.

To activate both discounts email

If you want to talk to us about any business issues, including funding, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email:

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