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Prioritise economy in Brexit talks, say business bodies

Leading business groups have called on the government to put “the economy first” as the UK begins Brexit negotiations with the European Union (EU) in Brussels today.

The letter is signed by the British Chambers of Commerce, Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Directors, the EEF and the Federation of Small Businesses. 

The group calls for the final agreement to be ”a deal that supports growth”, which will allow companies to hire more people, raise living standards and improve lives across the country.

The following economic principles are being put forward: 

  • maintain the economic benefits of the single market and customs union
  • prioritise an agreement for EU citizens to remain in the UK
  • tariff-free goods trade between the UK and the EU
  • minimal customs formalities at the land, sea and air borders with the EU
  • mutual recognition and access for both goods and services
  • flexible system for the movement of labour and skills
  • ongoing participation on pan-European programmes initiatives
  • benefits and protection of free trade agreements.

The business leaders’ statement read:

“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. 

“This is a deal that when finally agreed will matter fundamentally for the UK economy, for UK companies and for citizens of the UK.”

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