A UK-EU relationship that works for business

A UK-EU relationship that works for business

A strong partnership is essential for business’ coronavirus recovery

Building a strong UK-EU relationship – the UK’s largest trading partner - will ensure the UK remains a serious competitor on the global stage, boosting jobs, growth and prosperity across the country, and allow the UK to take full advantage of the new opportunities and freedoms our new trading relationship brings.

The change we're calling for

Brexit has delivered an economic hit, but the new trade agreement with the EU can be used as a jumping off point, setting the stage for a partnership that’s built upon beyond simple problem solving. That’s why we’re calling on government to move beyond the politics - to build on the deal and grasp opportunities to support the UK’s world-leading sectors.

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    Minimise disruption and unnecessary costs and barriers to trade by identifying the required practical adjustments

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    Help business adjust to the new trading relationship by publishing up to date, digestible guidance and keeping business informed of key decisions

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    Build a partnership that supports the UK’s world-leading sectors, from services and tech to automotive and creative industries

Why it's needed

Our trading relationship with the EU will determine how future generations live and work in the UK for decades to come. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, business and the economy need an ambitious trade deal that supports international competitiveness.

As firms adjust to new processes and procedures, they will be keen to see quick progress on issues outside of the deal to support business. Greater regulatory cooperation on financial services and mutual recognition of professional qualifications, are just two business-critical issues that will make a material difference.

Over the coming weeks, months, and years, it’s vital that government and business work closely together to shape the new relationship with the EU as it evolves, ensuring the UK remains a competitive, dynamic and innovative economy that’s able to drive prosperity across all of its regions and nations.

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"Brexit has delivered an economic hit and divided business and government for four years. But we can use our new Brexit deal, as a jumping-off point, to put the politics behind us, grasp the opportunities ahead, and win more business in critical areas. There is more to do with Europe - our largest trading partner."

Tony Danker, Director-General, CBI

A good relationship matters for every business

Opening doors of opportunity and preventing disruption

As the UK and EU forge new paths and strengthen their partnership over the coming months and years, the role of business will be vital. A trading relationship that lets business focus on growth, R&D and innovation will be essential.

  • 40% of UK services exports go to the EU: worth £120 billion to the UK economy in 2018

  • The EU is the UK’s largest trading partner for goods, accounting for 50% of total exports in 2018 - over £170 billion every year

  • 78% of UK exporters sell into the EU32 and its 446 million consumers. 96% of these firms are SMEs

A business plan for a future relationship

To confidently invest in jobs and opportunities, business needs the tools and guidance required to adjust to the new rules. Find out what business’ priorities are for the future relationship and how firms can prepare.

Our progress and impact

The CBI campaigns tirelessly on behalf of our members so that business creates prosperity for all. Learn more about the work we do and the impact we are making on this issue.

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Support the change

  1. Are you a business leader?

    Join the CBI

    Our members are our mandate, and the reason we’re the most influential business organisation in the UK. Join the voice of business, and help us campaign to shape a Brexit that works for business.

    Find out more
  2. Are you a CBI member?

    Have your say

    Concerned about the impact of no-deal, access to EU talent, or trading relationships with EU nations? Share your views and help strengthen our calls to government.

    Get involved
  3. Are you a policymaker?

    Make a difference

    This campaign is led by the CBI's EU Negotiations team.

    Contact Nicole Sykes, Head of EU Negotiations, to find out why businesses are urgently trying to avoid no-deal and how you can support this aim.

    Contact us