CYPRUS: Exports to UK under threat from a ‘no-deal’ Brexit

The future of Cyprus exports to the UK remain uncertain, as contingency measures taken by EU in the event of a no deal Brexit, do not provide for any arrangement for both customs duties and trademarks, a Brussels official told CNA.

According to a senior official of the European Union who deals with Brexit and visited Cyprus to brief on possible impacts, there’s a high degree of uncertainty as no-deal Brexit is a very possible outcome.

The official said that contingency measures taken, do not concern trade or conversion of EU trademarks into British ones after a disorderly exit.

Cyprus has significant commercial relations with Britain, while the issue of EU trademarks is also a matter of concern after the Republic of Cyprus lost its UK trademark for halloumi cheese in its biggest market.

The EU trademark is still in place in Britain, however, according to the official, there is nothing to safeguard that Britain would convert EU trademarks to British in the event of no-deal Brexit.

There is a possibility that Britain could ratify the withdrawal agreement, which deals with these issues for a transitional period of 21 months.

With regard to Brexits extension after 29 March, which is gaining ground, the EU official made it clear that the EU27 leaders were open to such an extension, provided they know why and that it would not interfere with institutional processes like the EU elections.

Air flights, non-visa requirement for British travellers visiting the EU, social welfare coordination, Erasmus student protection and financial services measures are among the 19 contingency measures, in case of a bad Brexit.

These measures are considered to be positive for British incoming tourism, another important field concerning Cyprus-UK relations.

The other big issue for Cyprus, concerns the status of British sovereign bases on the island. According to the official, the idea was to ensure that nothing would actually change, in relation to the current status.

Source: The Financial Mirror