The CBI has said there are five key points that the government must consider and work towards as part of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Focusing on retaining as much access to European markets and partners, the manifesto says that keeping UK-EU trade tariff-free should be “One of the Government’s highest priorities, as well as enshrining the right of UK services companies to establish and provide services in other EU countries. It goes on to say that non-tariff barriers on UK-EU trade should be kept as low as possible.”
In the wake of the vote, with uncertainty still unsettling small businesses in particular other four key CBI priorities are:
- Balancing regulatory equivalence with the EU with flexibility and influence over the domestic environment
- Ensuring the UK’s migration system allows companies to access the people and skills that they need, while recognising public concerns
- Developing a clear strategy for international trade and economic agreements
- Protecting the economic and social benefits of EU funded projects
‘Government must work with business’
The CBI chief executive said that “The principles are clear: businesses want to continue trading easily with EU neighbours while bringing down barriers to new opportunities around the world. They also highlight the need to strike a balance between UK and EU-led regulation in future, to ensure access to global talent while recognising public concerns, and for clear plans to replace EU funding.
Fairbairn also called on the government to work closely with business in the coming months to achieve this, in “A new, deep partnership will be needed between the government and firms of all sizes across the UK. Firms recognise that trade-offs may be necessary but that they should be guided by these principles.”
“Many businesses are still working through exactly what a vote to leave may mean for them, but in the meantime are getting on with providing stability and jobs in their communities. To support this goal, businesses want the government to focus on domestic priorities, including a swift decision on new airport capacity, while setting a clear plan and timetable for the negotiations.