27 April 2017

Update

Businesses across Europe want focus shifted to trade deal

The CBI is urging Europe’s leaders to recognise the shared interest in securing an ambitious deal between the UK and EU.  

Businesses across Europe want focus shifted to trade deal

A special meeting of the European Council will take place this weekend where the heads of state of the remaining 27 EU member states will come together to agree a Brexit negotiating position.

Ahead of the summit, the CBI is urging Europe’s leaders to recognise the very real shared interest in securing an ambitious deal between the UK and EU, and shift the focus from the divorce settlement to the future trading relationship.

The CBI’s full response will be published on the Brexit hub on our website next week.

In a speech at Cambridge University this week, CBI Director-general, Carolyn Fairbairn urged both sides to focus on building the strong trading relationships which will define our shared future.

Carolyn highlighted the importance of supply chains and argued that with a good agreement, the UK and EU will win together. Supply chains connected across the Continent are worth around €600 billion each year in UK-EU trade. With a potential demand for €60 billion from the UK upon departure from the EU, the economic case for making rapid progress on a trade agreement is clear.

Carolyn also confirmed that the business community – in the UK and the EU – is united in wanting an agreement with as few barriers as possible. Carolyn used the speech to caution that both sides will lose if an agreement can’t be reached and urged that ‘Plan B’ for leaving the negotiating table without a deal should be the last option for both sides. She spoke about the damaging impact a no deal scenario would have – whether it’s tariffs or regulation – on both sides of the Channel and the importance of ensuring that the economics cuts through the politics.

The CBI has been meeting sister organisations from across Europe, convening a clear, European business voice and making sure these messages are heard.

For any further information about the EU negotiations, please visit the Brexit hub on our website or contact EUNegotiations@cbi.org.uk to talk to one of the team.