Business leaders call for Brexit to be delayed if EU trade deal cannot be struck

01 Mar 2017

UK business leaders have urged the government to delay the Brexit process if an advantageous trade deal with the EU cannot be struck.

In a report published by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), businesses also revealed that they want ‘certainty regarding any future procedures’, in order to allow them to prepare for any changes that Brexit may bring.

Prime Minister Theresa May intends to trigger Article 50 – the legal process that will mark the beginning of two years of EU exit talks – by the end of March.

The BCC stated that the ‘ideal outcome’ would be to complete a trade deal within the two years permitted by Article 50.

Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, said: ‘Business communities across the UK want practical considerations, not ideology or politics, at the heart of the government’s approach to Brexit negotiations.

‘Most firms care little about the exact process for triggering Article 50, but they care a lot about an unexpected VAT hit to their cash flow, sudden changes to regulation, the inability to recruit the right people for the job, or if their products are stopped by customs authorities at the border. The everyday nitty-gritty of doing business across borders must be front and centre in the negotiation process.’