“With our exit from the EU only (as it stands) a few weeks away, it is a very unsettling time for everyone in business in the UK at the moment – including those in our greeting card trade. It was gratifying to at least have the opportunity to be able to ask some of the crucial questions of those in the front line,” said Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA shortly after attending and participating in a close-knit meeting with leading MPs and civil servants as to how the likely impact the UK’s exit from the EU will impact on businesses, including greeting card publishers, suppliers and retailers.
Amanda joined executives from other business leaders at a special Brexit Business Forum organised by the government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), fronted by the RT Hon Michael Gove MP that took place at the BEIS Conference Centre in Westminster to inform and take on board concerns and questions over what is likely to happen post Brexit.
Having canvassed the GCA membership, Amanda certainly had no shortage of questions. “GCA members submitted a dozen different subjects that they would like addressed, but the most numerous were the queries over potential tariffs,” Amanda told PG Buzz.
Introducing the GCA as a trade association that represents the UK greeting cards, a world leading creative industry, Amanda implored Michael Gove to share some clarity on imports and exports post-Brexit. “I stressed to Michael Gove how our industry imports raw materials from Europe, but also importantly exports its finished goods to Europe and beyond. The free passage of this trade is integral to its world-leading position,” said Amanda.
Responding directly to her questions, Michael Gove assured Amanda that “no tariffs will be imposed for raw materials coming into the UK for the next 12 months,” but he was unable to confirm about export tariffs, but highlighted how, even in the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’ the UK will benefit from a ‘most favoured nation’ status with EU countries.
Allaying fears of card publishers, retailers and suppliers looking to travel to trade shows and meetings in the EU, Amanda was reassured that “even post Brexit, UK publishers, retailers and suppliers will be able to travel to the EU and stay for up to 90 days without a visa.”
Following the official meeting, Amanda made herself known to the senior civil servants who were manning the information points outside the main meeting hall.
“It was incredibly worthwhile to attend the meeting as I now have a wealth of government and senior civil servant contacts that are likely to prove invaluable in the future. And I made sure they all know about the UK greeting card trade!” said Amanda.