Business groups react to triggering of Article 50

Business groups have expressed their opinions on the forthcoming Brexit negotiations and trade talks in the wake of Prime Minister Theresa May’s signing of the letter that triggers Article 50.

30 Mar 2017

Business groups have expressed their opinions on the forthcoming Brexit negotiations and trade talks in the wake of Prime Minister Theresa May’s signing of the letter that triggers Article 50.

A press release from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said: ‘Businesses across Britain are 100% committed to making a success of Brexit – and getting off to a good start in the negotiations will be vital in getting the best deal.’

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) suggested that UK businesses would like exit and trade talks to take place simultaneously. Adam Marshall, its Director General, commented: ‘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.’ 

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) called for the government to secure ‘the easiest possible access to the single market’. Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: ‘Now that Article 50 has been triggered, it is time for the government to work towards a pro-business Brexit and give small firms some clarity on how leaving the EU will impact their businesses.

‘The government must push for a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU based on ease and cost, and then support small firms to take advantage of new trade agreements with priority markets around the world.’

Meanwhile, Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), said: ‘Now the real work begins. Ministers must roll up their sleeves and focus on getting a good deal for Britain in the tough negotiations ahead. Success means listening to business on the vital priorities of maintaining tariff-free trade, minimising customs red tape and keeping the bureaucratic hurdles to bringing in necessary skills as low as possible.’

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