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BCC: Business cheers negotiations breakthrough in Brussels – and urges swift start to trade talks

Director General Adam Marshall comments on the news that the UK and the EU have reached an agreement to conclude the first phase of Brexit talks.

“Businesses will be breathing a sigh of relief that ‘sufficient progress’ has been achieved. After the noise and political brinksmanship of recent days, news of a breakthrough in the negotiations will be warmly welcomed by companies across the UK.

“Business will particularly cheer the mutual commitment to a transition period to support business confidence and trade, and will want the details confirmed swiftly in the new year when negotiators move on to the big questions around our future trade relationship with the EU.

“For business, a swift start to trade talks is crucial to upcoming investment and growth decisions. Companies all across the UK want absolute clarity on the long-term deal being sought, and want government to work closely with business experts to ensure that the details are right.

“Businesses want answers on what leaving the EU will mean for regulation, customs, hiring, standards, tariffs and taxes. The job of the UK government and the European Commission now is to provide those answers – and do everything in their power to ensure vibrant cross-border trade between the UK and EU countries can continue.”

On the question of citizens’ rights, and the status of EU employees in UK firms, Dr Marshall added:

“The biggest priority for many firms since the EU referendum has been to get clarity and security for their European employees, whose contribution to business success across the UK is hugely valued. We are delighted that they, as well as UK citizens living and working in the EU, now have more clarity and can plan their future with greater confidence.”

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