22 December 2020
The CBI has commented on the ongoing Brexit negotiations ahead of the transition period ending on 31 December.
Josh Hardie, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:
“With time almost up, the economic realities of failing to agree a deal cannot be hostage to politics anymore.
“For many months, businesses have outlined the challenges they face and the measures that will be needed to mitigate disruption on 1 January. We head towards the end of year with a bottleneck in Dover, parts of the country in tier 4 and Brexit as uncertain as it has ever been. Final preparations are currently impossible for most businesses.
“It is now time for the UK Government to share full, detailed actions for ensuring trade can continue to flow at the start of 2021, whatever the outcome of talks. Firms simply must have clearer guidance on what they need to do.
“This starts with both sides committing to a deal. But agreements pencilled in for after the deal must now be done in parallel – negotiators have lost the luxury of traditional sequencing.
“That means joint grace periods for traders who make errors in paperwork, re-labelling of products and rules of origin. It also means finding a mechanism to avoid a temporary data cliff-edge. These are sensible steps both sides can take now to mitigate disruption and avoid legal havoc.
“Disruption is now inevitable, it’s just a matter of how much. The only responsible course of action to limit damage to communities across Europe is to get a deal and get ready, this week.”
The CBI has made 48 recommendations to policy-makers here and in Brussels in Smoothing the cliff-edge