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Concern grows over no-deal

Business groups demand Brexit deal compromise

Karen Betts SWA

Signatory: SWA chief Karen Betts (pic: Terry Murden)

Businesses across the economy are demanding the Prime Minister shows leadership and secures a Brexit deal.

The CBI and 71 trade associations and professional bodies say that “with compromise and tenacity, a deal can be done”.

They have issued a statement on behalf of 190,000 businesses and seven million employees following Boris Johnson’s declaration that talks with the EU are ‘over’.

Business groups insist that a deal is essential to bring stability and confidence in the UK as a place in which to invest, and help ease the sustainable implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Among signatories to the statement are Karen Betts, CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association, Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, and Deidre Michie, chief executive of Oil and Gas UK . 

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The statement says: “Now is the time for historic political leadership. With compromise and tenacity, a deal can be done. Businesses call on leaders on both sides to find a route through.

“The clarity that comes with an ambitious deal will have an instant impact on firms’ efforts to prepare. It will help investment by removing the threat of tariffs and quotas. 

“And it will catalyse confidence through enhanced customs cooperation while making a precious data agreement possible, vital for services industries which make up 80% of the UK economy.  

“Businesses are doing what they can to prepare for Brexit. But firms face a hat-trick of unprecedented challenges: rebuilding from the first wave of COVID-19, dealing with the second and uncertainty over the UK’s trading relationship with the EU. 

“That’s why more than three quarters of UK firms say they need a deal, quickly. 

“With each day that passes, business resilience is chipped away. A swift deal is the single most effective way to support recovery in communities across Europe.  

“After four years of debate, there must be a resolution. 2021 can then be a year to rebuild, rather than regret.” 



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