29 January 2021
Lord Bilimoria, CBI President, said:
“Over the last month businesses have worked at breakneck speed to adjust to the realities, navigate barriers and assess the practical implications of the new UK-EU trading relationship.
“It’s clear that as trade flows return to their normal levels in the coming weeks fresh complications for importers and exporters will be revealed.
“To help supply chains move as smoothly as possible, it is vital good cooperation between business and government continues, rapidly resolving issues as they arise. And the UK Government can help minimise disruption by deploying diplomacy, encouraging EU member states to apply rules and regulations consistently and constructively at borders.
“Meanwhile, with some grace periods ending in a matter of months, greater urgency is needed to ensure new digital and physical infrastructure is ready. There are also important deadlines on the horizon for agreeing greater access for services, which comprise 80% of the UK economy.
“As work begins identifying opportunities for the UK businesses outside the EU, we must not overlook the importance of securing the UK’s economic recovery first by providing immediate assistance to firms still reeling from COVID ahead of the Budget. And as growth returns, policymakers should take a long view of how the UK can thrive in the global economy, and work backwards from there on how best to use powers returning from Brussels.”