European Businesses that trade with the UK say a bad Brexit deal is a bad deal for everyone and should be avoided at all costs according to the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE), who represent some 12,000 businesses across Europe.
In a report published today, ‘Brexit – the Voices of European Business’, COBCOE members express concern that the mandate afforded to the negotiators by the European Council, effectively prohibiting meaningful discussions about trade deals until “sufficient progress” is made on other political priorities, has increased uncertainty. They encourage the parties to begin talks on economic matters as soon as possible, whether by achieving quick agreement on preliminary issues or by recognising the need to move in parallel.
COBCOE members express a view that many of my clients and I share: that the UK will remain an important financial hub after Brexit, and what is needed now is pragmatism to ensure the future prosperity of all European nations. Achieving this ambition depends on businesses and consumers across Europe being able to form trusted economic relationships and generate jobs, trade and wealth in all sectors and regions.
Practical solutions such as the COBCOE Connects, a new online platform that helps businesses grow by providing high quality, trusted and relevant contacts in different markets is a superb example of a business enabler.
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Unnecessary political posturing, costly bureaucracy, and self-interest are obstacles that derail trust in political deals just as they do in business negotiations and must be avoided. As a business leader with operations in the UK and across Europe, I for one want to see a speedy and seamless transition that is good for all my colleagues and clients.
Few will deny, the EU is in urgent need of reform and for many years, the UK has been a driving force for change. Like other members of the COBCOE chambers, I will miss that passion, strength and challenge the UK once brought to the EU table.
A plea to the Brexit negotiators on both sides, read the report and give us a quick deal that enables us to get on with creating jobs and prosperity for future generations.