On the day (Friday) that the British Chambers of Commerce attends a high-level Brexit meeting at Chevening House with the Department for Exiting the EU and other representatives from the business world, the leading business organisation is calling on the UK government to put British business and economic considerations first in the on-going Brexit negotiations.
BCC Director General Adam Marshall will argue that achieving a good deal for the UK economy may require the Government to be more flexible in its position over the coming months, in order to prioritise jobs, investment and certainty for the future.
In recent weeks the BCC has, together with other business organisations, called on the government to seek to maintain the economic benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union, until a comprehensive final settlement between the UK and EU is agreed and implemented.
The BCC has also called for the negotiators to agree to start the trade elements of the talks as early as possible, to give businesses on both sides greater confidence and clarity.
Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“Business communities across the UK want the government to take a pragmatic and flexible approach to Brexit negotiations that puts the needs of the economy front and centre.
“Most businesses are a long way away from the theoretical debates we hear in Westminster, and just want answers to the practical, real-world questions they face. ‘Will our goods get stuck at border crossings? Who can we hire, and for how long? Who do we pay VAT to? Whose regulations and standards do we need to comply with?’ And so on.
“Answering these questions will require government to work in lock-step with business throughout the Brexit process, both on high-level strategy and on the detailed technical and legal issues that affect specific sectors. The meeting at Chevening with the Secretary of State has to be the start of a process of sustained engagement between government and business in order to get the best possible Brexit deal.
“At the same time, we will tell ministers loudly and clearly that Brexit isn’t the only game in town. Unless the UK has the best domestic business environment, even the best Brexit deal would fall flat. A high-cost, high-tax Britain with patchy infrastructure and serious skills gaps would be no recipe for future success.”