Representation in United Kingdom

UK

/unitedkingdom/file/genderpaygapjpg-0_engenderpaygap.jpg

UK has one of the highest gender pay gaps in the EU
©

The gender pay gap in the UK stands at 21% - the fourth highest in the EU and an increase of 1.3% since 2011 - according to new data issued by Eurostat, the EU's statistical agency. Only Estonia (25.3%), the Czech Republic (21.8%) and Germany (21.5%) recorded higher pay gaps. The statistical report was issued ahead of International Women's Day on 8 March.

07/03/2018

The report found across the EU, women earned on average 16% less than men in 2016 or in other words, women earned on average 84 cents for every euro a man makes per hour.

The smallest pay gaps were recorded in Romania (5.2%), Italy (5.3%), Luxembourg (5.5%) and Belgium (6.1%)

Between 2011-16, the overall the gender pay gap dropped in most EU member states but most significantly in Romania (-4.4%), Hungary (-4.0%) Spain and Austria (-3.4%), Belgium (-3.3%) and the Netherlands (-3.0%).  

Portugal and Slovenia recorded the highest increases of +4.6% and +4.5% respectively.

Across the EU the pay gap dropped by 0.6% to 16.2%

 

Background

Q&A on what the EU is doing for women's rights and gender equality?

/unitedkingdom/file/cetajpg_enceta.jpg

Ceta

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada enters into force provisionally on 21 September 2017 and  UK businesses are poised to be among the biggest winners from expanded trade across the Atlantic.

20/09/2017

British producers of machinery, electrical equipment, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals will see import tariffs of up to 9.5% on their trade with Canada slashed.

In addition to eliminating 99% of duties on imported British goods, the agreement eases the export of services and the access of British professionals to work in Canada.

Britain exports goods worth £4.5 billion (2015) to Canada. With 10,570 companies already exporting a wide variety of products from baby wipes to aircraft parts and supporting over 240,000 jobs, the UK economy is in the best position to benefit from the free trade deal. The UK is ahead of both Germany and France which have 10,464 and 9,732 companies respectively selling goods and services to Canada and significantly fewer jobs benefitting from that trade – 141,000 for Germany and 77,000 for France, according to data from a web tool on CETA published by the European Commission.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "This agreement encapsulates what we want our trade policy to be - an instrument for growth that benefits European companies and citizens, but also a tool to project our values, harness globalisation and shape global trade rules. Now it's time for our companies and citizens to make the most out of this opportunity and for everyone to see how our trade policy can produce tangible benefits for everyone"

The agreement especially benefits smaller companies who make up 79% of EU exporters to Canada and can least afford the cost of red tape. Small businesses will save time and money, for example, by avoiding duplicative product testing requirements, lengthy customs procedures and costly legal fees.

CETA creates new opportunities for European farmers and food producers, while fully protecting the EU's sensitive sectors. The EU has further opened its market for certain competing Canadian products in a limited and calibrated way, while securing improved access to the Canadian market for important European export products. Those include cheese, wine and spirits, fruit and vegetables, and processed products. CETA will also protect 143 EU "geographical indications" in Canada, high quality regional food and drink products.


Background

The provisional application of CETA on 21 September follows its approval by EU Member States and by the European Parliament. It will only enter into force fully and definitively when all EU Member States have ratified the agreement.

CETA will be fully implemented once all EU Member States ratify the deal according to their respective constitutional requirements. At the time CETA will take full effect, a new and improved Investment Court System will replace the current investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism that exists in many bilateral trade agreements negotiated in the past by EU Member States' governments. The new mechanism will be transparent and not based on ad hoc tribunals.

The UK will continue to reap the benefits of free trade between the EU and Canada while it remains a member of the European Union.

Further information:

European Commission press release

CETA impact on the UK

CETA in your town

Full text of CETA

/unitedkingdom/file/barnier3may2017jpg_enbarnier3may2017.jpg

Press conference by Michel Barnier
Michel Barnier

The European Commission has sent a recommendation to the Council (national ministers) to open the Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom. It includes draft negotiating directives. This legal mandate follows the adoption on Saturday by the European Council (national heads of state and government) of political guidelines.

03/05/2017

Today's text complements the guidelines and provides the necessary details to conduct the first phase of the negotiations. This reflects the two-phased approach put forward by the leaders of the 27 Member States and prioritises those matters which are necessary to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union.

The negotiating directives cover 4 main areas. Safeguarding the status and rights of citizens – EU27 citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU27 – and their families is the first priority of the negotiations. The Commission's recommendation also states clearly that agreement on the principles of the financial settlement must be reached before it is possible to move on to the second phase of the negotiations. The negotiations should not undermine in any way the Good Friday Agreement. Solutions should be found to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. Finally, arrangements must be found regarding dispute settlement and the governance of the withdrawal agreement.

Michel Barnier, Union negotiator for the Article 50 negotiations with the UK, said "With our recommendation today, we are on track to make sure that the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union happens in an orderly fashion. This is in the best interests of everyone. As soon as the UK is ready, we shall start negotiating in a constructive manner."

Next steps

Today's recommendation will be sent to the Council, where it is set to be adopted by the General Affairs Council on 22 May.

Background

On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union. The European Council adopted its political guidelines on 29 April 2017. The negotiations will, at all times, be conducted in light of the European Council guidelines and in line with the Council's negotiating directives and with due regard to the European Parliament's resolution of 5 April 2017.

More information:

Video of the full press conference by Michel Barnier, Chief Negotiator for Article 50 Negotiations with the United Kingdom

Text of the recommendation

Q&A on today's recommendation

European Council guidelines

Q&A on Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union

Task Force on Article 50 Negotiations with the United Kingdom (TF50) webpage

/unitedkingdom/file/tusk2jpg_entusk2.jpg

President Tusk
President Tusk

Today, President of the European Council Donald Tusk proposed negotiating guidelines on Brexit to the 27 EU leaders.

31/03/2017

'Our duty is to minimise the uncertainty and disruption caused by the UK decision to withdraw from the EU for our citizens, businesses and Member States. As I have already said, in essence it is about damage control. We need to think of people first. Citizens from all over the EU live, work and study in the UK. And as long as the UK remains a member, their rights are fully protected. But we need to settle their status and situations after the withdrawal with reciprocal, enforceable and non-discriminatory guarantees', President Tusk said presenting the guidelines.

He stated that 'only once we have achieved sufficient progress on the [UK] withdrawal [from the EU], can we discuss the framework for our future relationship. Starting parallel talks on all issues at the same time, as suggested by some in the UK, will not happen. And when talking about our future relationship, we obviously share the UK's desire to establish a close partnership between us. Strong ties, reaching beyond the economy and including security cooperation, remain in our common interest.'

"There is no such thing as a 'Brexit bill' or 'penalty for leaving' We talk about just fairness and commitments. I have no doubt that from each side we want to demonstrate that we want to be fair to each other during the negotiations", President Tusk emphasised.

Full remarks by President Donald Tusk on the next steps following the UK notification

Watch President Tusk's press conference here

/unitedkingdom/file/tuskjpg_entusk.jpg

President Tusk
President Tusk

Today, the European Council received a letter from the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, notifying the United Kingdom's intention to leave the European Union. This notification follows the referendum of 23 June 2016 and starts the withdrawal process under Article 50 of the Treaty. We regret that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union, but we are ready for the process that we now will have to follow.

29/03/2017

For the European Union, the first step will now be the adoption of guidelines for the negotiations by the European Council. These guidelines will set out the overall positions and principles in light of which the Union, represented by the European Commission, will negotiate with the United Kingdom.

In these negotiations the Union will act as one and preserve its interests. Our first priority will be to minimise the uncertainty caused by the decision of the United Kingdom for our citizens, businesses and Member States. Therefore, we will start by focusing on all key arrangements for an orderly withdrawal.

We will approach these talks constructively and strive to find an agreement. In the future, we hope to have the United Kingdom as a close partner.

President Tusk has convened the European Council on 29 April 2017.

The European Council statement

A fact-sheet on the next steps in the negotiations process

Video statement by the President of the European Council Donald Tusk

/unitedkingdom/file/cetajpg_enceta.jpg

Ceta

British producers of machinery, electrical equipment, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals will see import tariffs of up to 9.5% on their trade with Canada slashed after the European Parliament supported the EU-Canada free trade deal (known as CETA).

In addition to eliminating 99% of duties on imported British goods the agreement will ease the export of services and the access of British professionals to work in Canada.

16/02/2017

The European Parliament approved on 15 February the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada by a vote of 408 'for', 254 'against' and 33 abstentions.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "The vote by the European Parliament is an important milestone in the democratic process of ratification of the agreement reached with Canada and it also allows for its provisional entry into force. As a result, EU companies and citizens will start to reap the benefits that the agreement offers as soon as possible."

Britain exports goods worth £4.5 billion (2015) to Canada. The sectors with the largest exports are machinery and electrical equipment with £1.2 billion of goods sold in the Canadian market annually. These sectors employ more than 380,000 people in the UK and account for 16% of total EU exports to Canada. Although the average tariffs in these sectors have been relatively low, some products face tariff peaks of 9%. Apart from savings on customs duties, CETA will enable British companies to do away with the costs of double testing thanks to the provisions on recognition of conformity assessment certificates

The UK is also the EU's second biggest exporter of motor vehicles to Canada, with £600 million worth annually, 15% of the EU total.and Canadian tariffs currently as high as 9.5% will be removed.

Furthermore Britain exports to Canada £110 million worth of spirits, mainly whisky and gin. While whisky is tariff-free, gin faces specific tariffs of CAD 4.92 cents per litre of pure alcohol. For these spirits, tariff elimination is complemented by the removal of other trade barriers, including several 'behind the border' barriers that make it difficult for British exporters to access the Canadian market.

CETA includes also provisions to make it easier for British professionals to work in Canada (and vice versa) and to have their qualifications recognised. This is a big plus for companies that provide services such as after sales back-up for exported machines or software or make complex products – such as machinery - that require installation or maintenance.  This can be particularly beneficial for smaller and medium-sized firms, as they may not be able to provide permanent staff on the ground.

CETA also creates a framework for the recognition of professional qualifications for regulated sectors like architects and accountants.

After the vote in the European Parliament, the agreement needs to be ratified by the Canadian side in order to enter provisionally into force . That could happen by 1 April 2017, according to estimates by Members of the European Parliament and trade experts.

CETA in your town

More information on CETA

/unitedkingdom/file/eurosjpg_eneuros.jpg

Euros

For the first time in almost a decade, the economies of all EU Member States are expected to grow for three consecutive years (2016-2018) according to the European Commission's Winter Forecast published today. The UK economy is forecast to see lower growth of 1.5% in 2017 and 1.2% in 2018, compared to 2% in 2016.

13/02/2017

The general European economic recovery is expected to continue this year and next, after it proved resilient to global challenges last year. The Commission expects euro area GDP growth of 1.6% in 2017 and 1.8% in 2018. This is slightly revised up from the Autumn Forecast (2017: 1.5%, 2018: 1.7%) on the back of better-than-expected performance in the second half of 2016 and a rather robust start into 2017. GDP growth in the EU as a whole should follow a similar pattern and is forecast at 1.8% this year and next (Autumn Forecast: 2017: 1.6%, 2018: 1.8%).

However, the outlook is surrounded by higher-than-usual uncertainty due in particular to the still-to-be-clarified intentions of the new administration of the United States in key policy areas, as well as the numerous elections to be held in Europe this year and the upcoming "Article 50" negotiations with the UK.

The lower growth predicted for the UK is based on the analysis that, with time, business investment is likely to be adversely affected by persisting uncertainty while private consumption growth is projected to weaken as growth in real disposable income declines. Inflation is expected to rise to over 2% and remain elevated. The impact on the labour market of subdued demand is likely to be muted. Fiscal consolidation is projected to continue. Full details for the UK can be found here

Real GDP in the euro area has grown for 15 consecutive quarters, employment is growing at a robust pace and unemployment continues to fall, although it remains above pre-crisis levels. Private consumption is still the engine of the recovery. Investment growth continues but remains subdued.

Full press release and quotes

/unitedkingdom/file/cetajpg_enceta.jpg

Ceta

The UK is set to be one of biggest winners from the EU-Canada CETA free trade deal. With 10,570 companies already exporting a wide variety of goods from baby wipes to aircraft parts to Canada and supporting over 240,000 jobs, the UK economy is in the best position to benefit from the removal of import duties, lifting of barriers and potential trade growth, according to data from a new web tool on CETA published by the European Commission.

09/02/2017

And it is not only big business that is taking advantage of the free transatlantic trade as 79% of the EU exporters to Canada are small and medium-sized enterprises.

In exports to the second biggest North American economy, the UK is ahead of both Germany and France which have 10,464 and 9,732 companies respectively selling goods and services to Canada and significantly fewer jobs benefitting from that trade – 141,000 for Germany and 77,000 for France. Whilst there are more Italian companies (13,147) trading with Canada, they only employ about 63,000 people in total.

"CETA in your town", the new interactive map and tool developed by the European Commission, gives a snapshot of EU-Canada trade relations by drawing on a subset of the many companies in cities and towns all over the EU that export to Canada, with examples of products they export.

The trade with Canada is spread fairly evenly across the UK and across business sectors, the map shows. The leading Welsh town for exports to Canada, for example, is Swansea with three companies exporting foam masking tape, ores, slag and ash, bottle closures. Belfast has six companies selling carpets, pharmaceuticals and animal feed to Canada. Glasgow's exports include steel fittings, theatrical goods and alcoholic beverages supplied by some 10 companies with a further ten businesses in Bristol selling a range of items such as aircraft parts, cereals and baby wipes.

The Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada is expected to save exporters over £425 million (€500 million) a year in import duties. It was signed by the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico, and the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on 30 October 2016, but the deal still has to go through two main stages of democratic oversight. First, the European Parliament must give its consent to CETA for it to apply provisionally. The second stage involves parliaments in EU countries and only once they approve the agreement will CETA come fully into force.

CETA in your town

More information on CETA


/unitedkingdom/file/cetapng_enceta.png

Ceta

Work for the EU

Permanent & non-permanent positions As a national of an EU country, you are eligible for employment with the EU institutions which employ over 40,000 people – mainly in Europe, but...Read more
Subscribe to RSS - UK