UK Business Groups Want Economy to Be Put First in Brexit Talks

David Cameron paved the way for Brexit but Theresa May made it worst with the recent general elections. Brexit could have been, if it not a fated decision, a new beginning for the UK. As of now, it is looking like a big mistake that would ruin the British economy. Now PM May must start Brexit negotiations immediately, trying to appease every MP and citizen groups back home. Of course, this will not be an easy task.

Brexit
an illustration about Britain’s attempt to leave the EU, also known as ‘Brexit’

Single Market Access- The Biggest Deal of Brexit

 

Businesses in the UK have been the worst affected after the Brexit decision. The Brexit brain drain is no longer a mere theory. The lack of access to a free single market could ruin UK business in a sweep. Theresa May said that she would prefer no-deal over a bad deal pre-polls. Now, however, she must focus on getting the best business and trade deal with the EU. Numerous business groups have expressed concerns related to the single market access.

Recently, 5 business lobby groups called on the UK ministers to discuss the Brexit negotiation agenda. The group included the CBI, Institute of Directors, Federation of Small Businesses, Manufacturer’s group EEF and the British Chambers of Commerce. These business groups are trying to lobby a softer Brexit. In their agenda to push Theresa May into making the divorce softer on UK businesses, they are looking for a transitional agreement with added flexibility. Additionally, these groups want a trade-friendly deal. They have also talked about citizenship rights for EU and UK citizens. Note that citizenship challenges can strip these businesses off valuable talent as well.

What Do UK Business Groups Want?

 

A tariff free access to EU’s single market is many a business’ primary demand. If the demand is not fulfilled, UK will be in a weaker position trying to negotiate trade deals with the 27 EU nations separately. Quite likely, customs formalities for these nations will be different, creating additional burden on UK businesses. The lobby groups are also looking for a better system that allows movement of skills and labor between EU and UK.

In a statement, the groups stated that they wanted a deal that could ‘maintain the economic benefits of the single market and the customs union until a final settlement between the UK and the EU is agreed and implemented.’ They are looking for a transitional agreement that cushions trade between the two, during and shortly after, the divorce settlement.

Do these businesses seek a Brexit that keeps the UK functioning as an outpost of the EU? Quite likely. However, EU member states may not be too happy with this decision. As we have seen recently, they have shown surprising solidarity in taking a stern position against the UK before negotiations begin. It will be up to Theresa May to bring the best possible trade deal for the UK. If not, the UK economy will take years to recover the shock.

 

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Alex Hamilton