30 Mar 2017
On the 29th March Prime Minister, Theresa May triggered Article 50 signalling the start of the official process for Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The UK will leave the European no later than 2019, so for the next two years Brussels and London will be involved in talks to carve out what a post EU Britain will look like.
How Brexit will affect business has been a major talking point since the referendum in 2016, with prominent concern for businesses centred on the UK’s access to the single market, trade deals with Europe and the European labour market.
Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce (BBC), has commented following the release of a ‘Business Brexit Priorities’ report. He said:”Now that Brexit negotiations are set to begin, businesses across the UK and their trading partners in Europe want answers to practical questions, not political posturing.
“A pragmatic and grown-up dialogue on the real-world issues, rather than verbal volleys between London and Brussels, would give firms greater confidence over the next two years.
“In the early weeks of the negotiation process, businesses would like to see an effort to secure simultaneous exit and trade talks. Concluding exit and trade negotiations at the same time would moderate adjustment costs for UK businesses, and enable trade between UK and EU firms to continue with less disruption.”
Marshall also commented on the fact that Brexit is not the only issue UK businesses face, and there are other problems that the government must address. He said: “It is crucial for the Prime Minister and her government to remember Brexit is not the only thing on the minds of UK businesses.
“Issues here at home, from the training system to sky-high business rates and up-front costs, still need to be addressed.
“Businesses would not look kindly on a government that treats Brexit as its only job. Getting the fundamentals right here in the UK is as important, if not more important, than any eventual Brexit deal.”
The BCC also recommends that the government should negotiate for continued access to the European Investment Bank, to ensure that areas who receive EU funding do not face a ‘cliff edge’ following exit from the European Union.