Bosses and unions unite in 'urgent' Brexit call

European and British business and trades union leaders have united to call for much speedier progress in reaching a Brexit deal.

Carolyn Fairbairn: CBI
Organisations representing 20 million employers and 45 million union members across Europe issued a statement on Wednesday saying this week’s European Council meeting must “inject pace and urgency” into the negotiations.

Injecting pace into Brexit negotiations

The group’s involved in the plea were the business organisations BusinessEurope and Confederation of British Industry, in addition to the European Trade Union Confederation and the UK’s Trades Union Congress.Carolyn Fairbairn and Markus Beyrer, the director-generals of the CBI and BusinessEurope respectively, and Luca Visentini and Frances O’Grady, the general secretaries of the ETUC and the TUC, met earlier this month in London to discuss the impasse over Brexit. Their call was being seen as a sign of increasing consternation across the continent over the lack of progress in the talks with less than a year to go before the UK formally leaves the bloc.
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“We are calling on the UK government and the EU to inject pace and urgency in the negotiations, bringing about measurable progress, in particular a backstop arrangement to avoid a hard border in Ireland,” said the joint statement.“Decisions will be needed in June and October to finalise the withdrawal agreement and the transitional arrangement, and put economic interests and people’s jobs, rights and livelihoods first.“The UK government and the EU will need to agree on all aspects of regulatory alignment, which is of the utmost importance, without jeopardising the integrity of the single market.”A government spokesman in London said UK ministers “absolutely agree” with the sentiments in the statement, adding, “That’s why we have put forward workable proposals to the EU on a range of areas from the backstop to security, and the White Paper – which will be published after June Council – will continue to drive this process forward. We are confident that we can make progress if both the EU and UK engage constructively.”But Rebecca Long Bailey, the Labour Party’s ‘shadow’ business secretary, said, “The Tories have spent over two years botching Brexit by bickering amongst themselves rather than negotiating a sensible deal with the EU which protects jobs and living standards.“Time is running out. Businesses, consumers and workers need certainty, not endless chaos, egos and melodrama. The government must put an end to the deadlock which is paralysing our country and our economy.”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