Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:
“The most pressing priority for business is avoiding a nightmare ‘no deal’ scenario. The Withdrawal Agreement delivers the transition period, providing vital breathing space firms sorely need. The sooner this happens the better, as every day brings stories of lost investment, or funds diverted to deal with a cliff-edge.
“However, the political declaration makes clear how much work there is still to do. While the backstop is better than no deal, it is also deeply undesirable. Business is clear the future relationship must feature essential elements needed for a successful Brexit. These include frictionless trade, ambitious access for our world-beating services, an open and controlled migration system alongside a say over future rules.
“MPs should be in doubt that a drifting towards a Canada-style deal would fail to deliver for our services businesses and fall far short of frictionless trade.
“Parliamentarians must now act in the best interests of their constituents and the country, putting future generations’ prosperity before party.
“Negotiators deserve credit for getting this far, but there’s a long way to go to get a future relationship that works for businesses across all parts of the UK.”