The Confederation of British Industry has responded rapidly and firmly to the Prime Minister’s statement on the Brexit negotiations.
Boris Johnson has said that, unless there is a “fundamental change of approach” from the EU, Britain is prepared to move to trading on World Trade Organisation rules when the Brexit transition period ends.
This week’s EU summit in Brussels has proved the EU is not prepared to offer the kind of Canada-style deal the UK is seeking and want the continued ability to control our destiny and freedom, our fisheries, in a way that is completely unacceptable, he is reported to have said.
“Given that this summit appears to explicitly rule out a Canada-style deal, I think that we should ready for January 1 with arrangements that are more like Australia’s.”
The CBI’s Director-General Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI, said: “After four years of negotiations and so many hurdles crossed, this is no time to give up. Neither side can afford to fall at the final fence. A deal is the only outcome that protects COVID-hit livelihoods at a time when every job in every country counts.
“Businesses are clear on the benefits of a deal. Agreement brings the clarity needed for urgent preparations. Maximising customs cooperation will minimise red tape. A deal will bolster implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol and safeguard investment critical for future jobs.
“It will also make fast agreement on data possible, so vital for the UK’s 80% services economy.
“With tenacity, common sense and compromise, a deal is still possible. Businesses call on leaders on both sides to stay at the table and find a route through.”