Setting out the importance of services in intra-EU trade, UK and international trade


The EU has opened up extensive opportunities to trade, attract investment and foster a skilled workforce. Our future economic fortunes continue to demand an outward-looking, dynamic and successful EU. One that embraces change and is aligned with the needs of business and citizens.

The services sector is already central to Europe’s economic performance and will be even more important into the future. The EU has a vital role to play in ensuring the sector reaches its full potential. We need a collective approach.

The Single Market and EU international trade policy needs to be redefined for today’s services-led, digitalised and innovative global economy. Barriers to market entry and operating across borders must be reduced. If business is to create the jobs of the future, it needs a predictable, transparent and pragmatic regulatory environment.

Given the complexity of modern supply chains, goods and services regulation should no longer be considered in isolation. Instead, regulation must embrace openness in the provision of services and the digital economy. It is essential that new rules and standards are set for trade in services and cross-border data flows are facilitated within and outside the EU.

This paper, which is part of Ibec’s wider Brexit and Future EU campaign, sets out the importance of services in intra-EU trade, international trade and a future economic partnership between the EU and the UK. It identifies how intrinsic trade in services is to all parts of the economy and sets out five key recommendations for the way forward.

The EU’s current ‘Future of Europe’ debate is a great opportunity to set out a new vision for the future. Let’s have the conversation.


Untapped potential The future for Irish and EU services trades pdf | 2017.2 kb

The Ibec Podcast

13 March 2018 - Brexit and the Future of Europe, with Fergal O'Brien