CBI outlines Brexit demands across sectors

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The Confederation of British Industry says the UK economy is interconnected and every sector needs to have a successful relationship with the European Union in its largest consultation of members since Brexit.

The report, Making a Success of Brexit, questioned 18 sectors across the UK economy.

The business trade body has outlined six demands for Brexit negotiations with the first being a “barrier-free relationship with our largest, closest and most important trading partner”.

Other demands include clarity on regulation, access to skills and labour, a renewed focus on global economic relationships, protection of EU funding, and an exit that does not bring the UK to a “cliff edge”.

The consultation also included a sector-by-sector breakdown with financial services members urging easy trade with the EU, continued access to skilled international workers and a transitional arrangement.

Financial services employs 1.1m people and delivers £63.7bn in expects. It accounts for 7.2 per cent of GVA.

CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn says: “Leaving the EU will be a highly complex process, and all sectors of the economy are making their priorities clear in order to get it right.

“The Government will need to take a ‘whole economy’ approach to avoid leaving sectors behind.”

Fairbairn says there are many crossovers and common principles that unite sectors.

“The success or failure of some sectors could affect others – the future of financial services regulation, for example, has been raised by firms in the automotive, housing, real estate and retail sectors, given the role they play in finance, insurance and pensions.”

The CBI’s six business priorities for Brexit include:

  • A barrier-free relationship with our largest, closest and most important trading partner
  • A clear plan for regulation that gives certainty in the short-term, and in the long-term balances influence, access and opportunity
  • A migration system which allows businesses to access the skills and labour they need to deliver growth
  • A renewed focus on global economic relationships, with the business community at their heart
  • An approach that protects the social and economic benefits of EU funding
  • A smooth exit from the EU, avoiding a cliff-edge that causes disruption