Commenting on the European Council’s adoption of its guidelines for the negotiation of future relations with the UK after Brexit, Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:
“Businesses will welcome the fact that nearly two years after the referendum, we are finally in a position to begin discussing the future economic relationship in earnest.
“However, with the clock ticking and a fairly short implementation period envisaged, it is essential that we move into substantive trade negotiations as quickly as possible to allow companies enough time to prepare and adjust.
“It is important that both sides approach the new partnership with an open mind. We urge the EU to ensure that the high degree of economic interdependence it notes as being important for a level playing field extends equally to reciprocal market access.
“With the EU now having put detailed guidelines on the table, we expect that the UK Government will come forward with greater clarity about its own negotiating proposals on both trade and labour mobility arrangements. These will be essential for company planning, and help ensure that Government and business are speaking with one voice.”