The five biggest business lobbies in Britain have begun calls for an urgent Brexit transitional deal to be decided on.
Groups including the Institute of Directors and the CBI penned a joint letter to Brexit Secretary David Davis. Other groups backing include the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses and the EEF manufacturing body. These groups represent companies employing millions of workers across the UK.
Businesses are experiencing a growing anxiety over the rate that talks are progressing, with still no clear deal in place.
Investment and jobs concern
Business groups echo a widespread concern about the potential loss of UK jobs and investment, with some companies already making big changes in response to Brexit.
The EEF recently revealed with a survey that Brexit uncertainty is currently holding back plans for manufacturing firms to make new investments.
The draft letter obtained by the Guardian and Sky News said that a deal is needed as soon as possible. Companies are already preparing to make serious decisions about where they will base the future of their operations which could have a massive effect on jobs in the UK.
It’s reported to say that the Brexit transition period should closely match current trading agreements between the UK and the EU.
Lack of progress
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general said: “One of the big messages from firms is ‘get on with it’ on both sides. This is real, this is urgent and a transition agreement by the end of the year would help enormously to keep investment and jobs in the country.”
The government has suggested that the transition period will last about two years but with fairly similar terms of trade that the UK and EU currently have. A spokesperson for the government said that Brexit talks were “making real, tangible progress”.
Negotiators from the EU are largely waiting on information about the UK’s “divorce payment” before talks on trade and transition begin. With only a year and a half left to go on the proposed timetable, businesses and lobbies are becoming increasingly nervous about where the negotiations will take them.
What do you think about the progress that the government is making? Do you agree with the business groups? Let us know your thoughts.
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An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.