2 February 2017


CBI Director-general talks Brexit in Paris and Davos

Carolyn Fairbairn recently went to Paris for Brexit discussions with French business and political stakeholders, and attended the annual summit in Davos.

CBI Director-general talks Brexit in Paris and Davos

Ahead of Article 50 being triggered, the CBI is making a concerted to effort to engage with the European business community on Brexit. Our aim is to understand the perspectives of our European counterparts, while outlining the shared practical issues which businesses across Europe will need to tackle as part of the Brexit negotiations. 

With that in mind, while in Paris Carolyn had in-depth discussions with our sister federation MEDEF, as well as a wide range of French businesses and trade bodies. She also met senior officials responsible for Brexit in the French government and the UK’s Ambassador to France, Lord Llewellyn.

Carolyn presented the CBI’s priorities for Brexit, as outlined in our recent ‘Making a Success of Brexit’ report, and talked French businesses through our sectoral analysis of what is needed to make Brexit a success for the both the UK and European economies. Coming shortly after the prime minister’s Lancaster House speech, many of the conversations had a distinctly political focus. There is clear will on both sides to achieve a good outcome, but ensuring the business voice can cut through the politics will be a challenge.

With negotiations expected to start within the next two months, the CBI will continue our work with the European business community to help achieve the best possible outcome for all.

Carolyn also took these messages to the annual economic summit in Davos, meeting with leading political and business figures, including notably HM King Philippe of the Belgians. As the British prime minister Theresa May outlined her vision for the forthcoming negotiations, Carolyn welcomed her commitment to an interim period and adjustment period, which will help business to avoid a damaging cliff edge scenario.

For more information please contact sean.mcguire@cbi.org.uk