‘Both sides must work flat-out to bridge the gap’ – IoD responds to Brexit mandate

Responding to the publication of the UK’s negotiating mandate for Brexit talks, Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:

“Directors will be relieved to see a significant amount of detail in the Government’s negotiating stance, but disappointed that securing market access continuity seems to be less than a fundamental priority. It’s right to focus on being comprehensive, but the UK and EU’s starting points mean depth and ambition really matter.

“For most IoD members, maintaining ease of trade with the Single Market is more important than being able to diverge from EU regulations. This doesn’t mean they expect everything to stay the same, but they were hoping for a more balanced approach on alignment and divergence – not least because of implications for trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland arising from the revised Brexit deal.

“Both sides must now work flat-out from now to bridge the gap and secure a deal. Only a quarter of our members think there is enough time left to secure a satisfactory agreement, and for their organisations to adjust.

“Ministers should remember that the free trade agreement examples they cite always come with adjustment periods, despite being with countries much further afield and raising the prospect of far less disruption.”