Business groups have joined together to urge the Government to put the economy first as Brexit negotiations begin.
Tariff-Free Trade and Careful Transition
Leaders of business groups came together to write an open letter to Business Secretary Greg Clark.
The letter’s signatories included Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSBs, Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the CBI, Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of the EEF and Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors.
“We have come together to urge the government to put the economy first as it prepares to start formal negotiations on the UK’s departure from the European Union,” the letter read.
The letter focused on the UK’s transition period, urging the Government to “maintain the economic benefits of the single market and the customs union until a final settlement between the United Kingdom and the European Union is agreed and implemented.”
The letter also expressed the desire of businesses to ensure tariff-free trade between the UK and EU, to ensure “minimal customs formalities between the two states, and to protect “the benefits of free trade agreements.”
Partnership with Business
The business group leaders also urged the Government to engage with businesses in the UK on the many “crucial and complex aspects” of future economic relationships with the European Union.
“If the government moves forward in real partnership with business, drawing on its expertise, it will be in a strong position to protect and strengthen the UK’s economy during this vital period and beyond.”
The letter called for a deal that supports business growth and stressed the need for an early agreement on guarantees for EU citizens.
Mike Cherry said: “The start of the Brexit talks is a crucial moment for the future of the UK economy, which is why FSB has joined other business groups in the unusual step of a joint letter to a senior government minister.
“It is vital that there is a pro-business Brexit deal, with the best possible access to the EU single market. We would like to see tariff-free trade, with minimal additional non-tariff barriers and, in particular, no cumbersome customs bureaucracy.
“FSB and other business groups have made it clear in the joint letter that the result of the referendum is not being questioned. Indeed, FSB has consistently recognised the potential benefits of Brexit alongside the potential risks.
“Now is the time to focus on making Brexit as much of a success as possible, putting small businesses in a strong position to thrive and grow.”