On the Chancellor’s speech, Josh Hardie, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:
“The Chancellor is absolutely right to be leading the fight for the UK’s financial services sector. Trying to forge a new trading relationship with our largest trading partner that does not include financial services is like building a ship with no sails.
“Challenging the assumption that financial services can’t be in a future trade agreement is right, as ambitious plans for an agreement are very much in the interests of both sides of the Channel. Hundreds of millions of people across Europe, from tourists to entrepreneurs to pensioners, rely on mutual market access in financial services every single day without even realising it.
“This must start with removing the cliff-edge for trade in services by quickly agreeing comprehensive transitional agreements, as well as ensuring that skilled workers can easily move and work across the Channel. With these steps in place, and a clear vision of the deal the UK wants, firms will have more reasons to pause contingency plans and to invest in UK.
“It’s fundamental we protect, maintain and develop our world-beating financial services sector – the lifeblood of both the UK’s and the EU’s economies that enables all other sectors to deliver jobs, innovate and grow. With two thirds of UK financial services jobs being found outside London, all parts of the country succeed when the sector has wind in its sails.”
On Donald Tusk’s comments, Josh said:
“Both the UK and the EU have now laid down their opening markers, so the CBI, alongside businesses across Europe, urges both sides to approach negotiations with a truly open mind and fresh, pragmatic thinking to secure the best deal for people and firms across Europe.
“There is a very clear shared interest between the UK and EU members, so it’s critical to avoid ending up with a deal that ultimately satisfies no-one. It simply is too important to let fail.”