18 Oct 2019
Business groups, including the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) have responded to the government's announcement of a new Brexit deal between the UK and the EU.
The new deal needs to be approved by both the UK and the European Parliaments. It will be put before the UK Parliament on 19 October.
The CBI was largely positive in regard to the new deal. Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, its Director General, said: 'If agreed by Parliament, this deal unlocks a transition period, guarantees the rights of four million citizens living abroad in the UK and EU, and opens a pathway to a new EU/UK partnership.
'It would keep trade flowing freely across the island of Ireland and, most importantly, avoid a damaging no-deal scenario.'
Meanwhile, the BCC stated that there is 'still a long way to go before businesses can plan confidently for their future'. Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, said: 'Companies across the UK and around the world will be paying close attention to what happens next – and whether the deal agreed can secure Parliamentary support. For business, this deal may be the end of the beginning – but it is far from the beginning of the end of the Brexit process.'
The IoD urged MPs to 'keep in mind the damage a disorderly exit could cause businesses large and small'. Jonathan Geldart, Director General of the IoD, commented: 'A further extension offers no guarantees of avoiding this outcome, but if a passable deal is in touching distance then politicians on all sides should be pragmatic about giving us the time to get there.'