26 Jan 2018
Commenting on the speech by David Davis on a transition period after we leave the European Union, Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“An overwhelming majority of our businesses, large and small, want a standstill transition agreed by the UK and the EU without further delay.
“UK businesses and their European trading partners expect the negotiators to deliver a clear sense of what the future trading relationship will look like, and a sensible transition that gives them both immediate certainty and adequate time to prepare for future changes to the trade rulebook.
“A key transition priority is to ensure that UK exporters and importers maintain the same terms of trade with those countries currently covered by EU free trade agreements, for the length of the transition. The onus will then be on the UK government to secure the benefits of these agreements for the future.”
On the UK’s ability to negotiate new trade deals during a transition period, Marshall added:
“While our businesses want the UK government to explore new and upgraded trading relationships around the world, their most important priority is to secure the significant levels of market access British businesses may lose, rather than the unproven potential of new agreements elsewhere. In the immediate future, effort must not be deflected from guaranteeing the benefits of existing trade deals for a symbolic and rushed ‘quick win’ elsewhere.”