The CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn, will say in a speech today [Thursday] that “instead of a cliff edge, the UK needs a bridge to the new EU deal”, which the CBI argue should mean staying inside the EU Single Market and a Customs Union until a final deal is in force.
The CBI argue that Britain continuing inside the Single Market and a Customs Union from the end of the Article 50 process in March 2019 until a deal is in place is the common-sense solution, which would allow proper time for negotiation of the final deal; instil confidence in companies across Europe by providing continuity and certainty; spur investment; and protect jobs and trade.
Chuka Umunna MP, leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said:
“The CBI are clear that British businesses are increasingly worried we are speeding headlong towards the cliff-edge of a hard and destructive Brexit.
“Ministers have promised to secure a trade deal with the EU that delivers the exact same benefits as we have now but must surely soon admit that their rhetoric is fast colliding with reality. Nobody else seems deluded enough to believe that they can deliver that promise by March 2019.
“The EU's Chief Negotiator has made it clear – you can only get the exact same benefits of the Single Market and Customs Union by remaining members of both.
“If the Government is serious about protecting jobs and our economy, they should heed the CBI’s call for a transition agreement that keeps Britain in the Single Market and the Customs Union.”