European business leaders call for ‘urgent’ Brexit deal

Businesses continue to voice their concern over the absence of a solid Brexit transitional deal. Lobby groups are increasingly worried that a ‘no deal’ situation is on the horizon.

Brexit transitional puzzle
Business groups from across Europe, representing tens of millions of employees, told Prime Minister Theresa May of the need for “urgent progress” to be made in Brexit negotiations, during a meeting at Downing Street.

Negotiations between UK and EU risk jobs suggest business groups

Jobs and investment would be lost, they warned Mrs May, unless there was a speedy agreement between the UK and EU on a ‘status quo’ transition deal and on the start of discussions on a future economic relationship that “draws on existing close economic ties”.Emma Marcegaglia, president of the lobby group BusinessEurope, said, “Businesses from across Europe welcomed the opportunity to meet with Theresa May to emphasise the mutual importance of making urgent progress in the EU-UK talks.“Business is extremely concerned with the slow pace of negotiations and the lack of progress only one month before the decisive December European Council. Business aims to avoid a cliff edge and, therefore, asks for a status quo-like transitional arrangement with the UK staying in the customs union and the single market, as this will best provide citizens and businesses with greater certainty.“In order to achieve this goal, we urge the UK government to make good on its Florence commitments by providing concrete proposals on the three issues critical for talks to move to the next phase including citizens’ rights, the situation of Ireland and the financial settlement. Equally, the EU should look constructively on these proposals once received.“Gaining momentum as we head into the New Year will provide companies with the confidence they need to continue contributing to prosperity right across Europe in these uncertain times.”
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Theresa May informed of Brexit transition worries

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said, “With UK-EU trade worth more than 600 billion euros each year, business groups from across Europe used today’s meeting with the prime minister as a welcome opportunity to highlight the mutual importance of seeing real progress before Christmas. All business organisations present reiterated the damage a ‘no-deal’ scenario would do to trade.“A transition period reflecting the current arrangements remains the priority on both sides of the Channel. While businesses welcomed the prime minister’s Florence speech, we now need to move beyond warm words if jobs, investment and living standards are to be protected.“Moving to the next phase will enable discussions to gather momentum, so negotiators can focus on the future economic relationship. It’s in everyone’s interests that a good, unique final deal reflects the strength and depth of our existing relationship and integration. This will help promote prosperity and better living standards right across Europe for generations to come.”In addition to the CBI and BusinessEurope, business organisations from Germany, France and other EU nations attended the talks with Mrs May, Business Secretary Greg Clark and Brexit Secretary David Davis.For related news and features, visit our Brexit section.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  

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