Responding to the Council conclusions from today’s EU summit, Allie Renison, Head of EU and Trade Policy, said:
“No one should treat this as a simple game of brinkmanship; the livelihoods of too many businesses and employees are at stake.
“Holding fast to points of principle should not be the overriding concern here, particularly when it comes to moving on to discuss transition and the future relationship. Rigidity will cost both sides dearly, whether it is on the European Court of Justice’s role for citizens’ rights, discussing the financial settlement or the inevitability of talking about trade across the Irish border.
“Showing flexibility is not the same as showing weakness. Rather it is a reflection of the remorseless logic of the time constraints we face. We hope EU member states will use the next two months to work constructively with the European Commission and the UK so that discussion on our future relationship and interim arrangements in particular starts before the end of the year.
“Finally, while we know there is a risk of all parties failing to reach a deal, it is important that this does not become an overriding fixation for the UK. The IoD expects the Government to be undertaking all types of contingency planning, but we do not want to see preparations for Plan B undermine the main focus on sorting out Plan A. A new deal will benefit business on both sides of the Channel far better than no deal.”