In the months following the vote to leave the EU, the CBI has undertaken a wide-ranging consultation to gather the views of the business community. Companies and trade associations - from advertising agencies and airport operators, to water suppliers and warehousers - have contributed their views. This report, Making a Success of Brexit, is the result of that consultation. Featuring a sector-by-sector breakdown, over 50 trade association partners, and quotes from a wide range of CBI members, this report gives a unique whole-economy perspective on the UK’s departure from the EU. The UK’s new relationship with the EU must be one that meets the needs of every sector of the economy. This may seem a challenge, as some industries prioritise certain issues over others, and of course there are areas of disagreement. But there are six principles every sector agrees should guide the UK’s negotiation with the EU: 1) A barrier-free relationship with our largest, closest and most important trading partner; 2) A clear plan for regulation that gives certainty in the short-term, and in the long-term balances influence, access and opportunity. 3) A migration system which allows businesses to access the skills and labour they need to deliver growth. 4) A renewed focus on global economic relationships, with the business community at their heart. 5) An approach that protects the social and economic benefits of EU funding. 6) A smooth exit from the EU, avoiding a “cliff-edge” that causes disruption. Achieving all these principles within the negotiation is certainly a challenge. Difficult choices will have to be taken. Business’ responsibility is to ensure government is informed by the best information to make these choices. For its part, the UK government should approach this process in partnership with industry, ensuring continued close engagement with companies in every sector. It should also take the opportunities available to it now to improve UK competitiveness before the UK leaves. And when faced with difficult decisions, should make decisions based on the evidence of what is in the best interest of the whole economy. The CBI will help the government navigate the complexities it faces. Businesses are the source of economic growth, jobs and opportunity in our communities, and have a vital role to play. And delivering the best settlement possible in the UK-EU negotiations is just one of business and government’s shared aims. The challenges of productivity, industrial strategy and spreading growth across the UK’s regions and nations must also all be met to build a more prosperous economy that works for everyone.
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