The CBI and 71 trade associations and professional bodies representing 190,000 businesses and 7 million employees are calling for politicians on both sides to carve a path towards a deal.

Sectors from automotive to aviation, chemicals to creative industries, and farming and food to pharmaceuticals – are united: securing a quick agreement matters greatly for jobs and livelihoods.

Clarity on an ambitious deal will turbo charge business preparations and increase confidence in the U.K. as a place to invest. Crucially, it will also help ease the sustainable implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The statement is accompanied by details from 21 trade associations and professional bodies outlining how a deal will help their sector contribute fully to the UK’s economic recovery.

It follows an intervention earlier this week by leading European business groups from France, Germany and Italy, calling for ‘a solution which ensures smooth trading conditions’.

One of the signatures Michael Izza, ICAEW Chief Executive representing chartered accountants said:

“Faced with the more immediate threat from the resurgence of COVID-19, many companies have been awaiting the results of the UK-EU negotiations before investing time, money and effort in preparing for the end of transition. We were hoping for a positive outcome to the EU Summit so the latest developments are very disappointing.

“Time is critically short. It is difficult to overstate the scale and complexity of the changes businesses will need to make. Government must move swiftly to support companies in adapting to whatever new trading relationship with Europe will start in January. Chartered accountants can play a key role in this but they – and the managers and directors they advise – need greater clarity in a number of basic and practical areas such as customs procedures and requirements. We ask government to make this a priority.

“We still look forward to the confirmation in due course of a comprehensive agreement, including provision for the effective mutual recognition of professional qualifications and confirmation of equivalence with respect to statutory audit. Uncertainty is never good news for business confidence, and we urge government to redouble its efforts to secure a fair deal which will help to stimulate and sustain the UK’s economic recovery.”


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