Brexit 'could undermine UK's anti-piracy efforts'

BrexitEx-UK Chancellor Alistair Darling has said that if the UK leaves the European Union it would undermine the country's ability to tackle counterfeiting and piracy.

Darling told the BBC's Today programme this morning that there was "overwhelming evidence" that the UK will be better off and stronger if it remains part of the EU.

Responding to suggestions that the UK could benefit from being able to negotiate new trade deals with emerging markets like China - which is a major source of counterfeit goods worldwide - he said there was no reason that the UK could not address these markets effectively at the moment from its position within the EU.

Moreover, "when you are dealing with things like counterfeit or people pinching intellectual property, having the clout of the EU behind you … actually helps," he said.

Being part of a bigger market gives leverage when negotiating with other countries who wish to import goods into your market, he added.

The former Chancellor's comments come as the official campaigns for and against the UK leaving the EU get underway, ahead of the referendum on June 23.

EU authorities detained 35.5m individual items of fake or counterfeit goods in 2014 with an overall total value of over €617m, according to the most recent annual report from the European Commission.

What impact do you think 'Brexit' could have on supply chain security and industrial crime in the UK and Europe? Please let us know your thoughts and/or comment below.

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