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‘Both sides must work flat-out to bridge the gap’ – IoD responds to Brexit mandate

27 Feb 2020

uk and eu flags

Responding to the publication of the UK’s negotiating mandate for Brexit talks, Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:

“Directors will be relieved to see a significant amount of detail in the Government's negotiating stance, but disappointed that securing market access continuity seems to be less than a fundamental priority. It's right to focus on being comprehensive, but the UK and EU's starting points mean depth and ambition really matter.

“For most IoD members, maintaining ease of trade with the Single Market is more important than being able to diverge from EU regulations. This doesn't mean they expect everything to stay the same, but they were hoping for a more balanced approach on alignment and divergence – not least because of implications for trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland arising from the revised Brexit deal.

“Both sides must now work flat-out from now to bridge the gap and secure a deal. Only a quarter of our members think there is enough time left to secure a satisfactory agreement, and for their organisations to adjust.

“Ministers should remember that the free trade agreement examples they cite always come with adjustment periods, despite being with countries much further afield and raising the prospect of far less disruption.”

How important or unimportant is continued ease of trade access to the EU and Single Market?

For your organisation:

 

Overall

Small

Medium

Large

Very important

39%

38%

44%

38%

Somewhat important

25%

25%

24%

29%

Neither important nor unimportant

18%

18%

19%

16%

Somewhat unimportant

8%

8%

6%

9%

Very unimportant

9%

10%

7%

9%

Don’t know

1%

1%

1%

0%


For the UK Economy:

 

Overall

Small

Medium

Large

Non-Exporters

Very important

59%

58%

61%

56%

57%

Somewhat important

24%

22%

27%

27%

25%

Neither important nor unimportant

8%

9%

5%

6%

4%

Somewhat unimportant

3%

3%

3%

4%

5%

Very unimportant

6%

6%

4%

7%

7%

Don’t know

1%

1%

0%

0%

1%


What is your preference for the UK’s approach to EU Single Market rules on goods?

 

Overall

Small

Medium

Large

Non-Exporters

Be able to diverge even if it means worse access

34%

37%

32%

24%

30%

Maintain access even if it means aligning on goods regulations

63%

59%

65%

76%

67%

Don’t know

3%

4%

3%

0%

3%

Of those who prioritise EU market access and alignment on goods, would that preference remain if it (also) meant continuing to align to EU rules in areas like employment, health/safety, environment and the competition?

Still prefer to align for market access in goods

87%

Prefer to lose EU market access in goods than align in these areas

11%

Don’t know

3%


What is your preference for the UK’s approach to EU Single Market rules on services?

 

Overall

Small

Medium

Large

Non-Exporters

Be able to diverge even if it means worse access

36%

35%

37%

40%

42%

Maintain access even if it means aligning on goods regulations

61%

61%

62%

58%

57%

Don’t know

3%

3%

2%

2%

2%

Of those who prioritise EU market access and alignment on services, would that preference remain if it (also) meant continuing to align to EU rules in areas like employment, health/safety, environment and the competition?

Still prefer to align for market access in goods

91%

Prefer to lose EU market access in goods than align in these areas

7%

Don’t know

2%


What is your preference for the UK’s approach to import tariffs after Brexit?

Align UK tariffs to all EU tariffs to avoid RoO

32%

Align some UK tariffs to EU tariffs – meaning partial flexibility and avoid some RoO

34%

Don’t align any UK tariffs to EU tariffs for complete flexibility

20%

Don’t know

10%

Other

4%


What do you consider to be the most important priorities for post-Brexit negotiations with the EU?

Maintaining ease of movement of people and labour between the UK and EU

48%

Avoiding tariffs on trade between the UK and EU

42%

Avoiding non-tariff barriers for goods trade with the EU

38%

Ensuring the ability to transfer data freely between the EU and UK

26%

Being able to diverge UK import tariffs from the EU's to facilitate new trade deals with other countries

25%

Avoiding non-tariff barriers for services trade with the EU

22%

Ensuring there is an adjustment period for businesses and end users to adapt

20%

Being able to diverge from EU rules covering services

19%

Maintaining ease of access to EU research and funding streams/collaboration schemes

18%

Being able to diverge from EU rules covering goods

15%

Other

2%

Don't know

1%


Which of the following factors, if any, are having a negative impact on your organisation?   

UK economic conditions

48%

Uncertain trading status with the EU

45%

Skills shortages/employee skills gaps

41%

Compliance with Government regulation

34%

Global economic conditions

34%

Business taxes

26%

Difficulty or delays obtaining payment from customers

25%

Employment taxes

24%

Broadband cost/speed/reliability

23%

Transport cost/speed/reliability

23%

Cost of energy

15%

Access to, or cost of, finance

14%

Other

4%

None of the above

2%

Don’t know/Not applicable

1%


Which of the following statements most closely fits your view?

 

Overall

Small

Medium

Large

11 months is not enough time to negotiate satisfactory new relationship w/EU

44%

44%

46%

41%

11 months is enough time to negotiate new relationship w/EU but insufficient to allow for business to adapt

26%

26%

24%

25%

11 months is enough time to both negotiate new relationship w/EU and for business to adapt to it

26%

26%

26%

29%


Contact Press Office

Euan Holmes, Press Officer

020 7451 3280


Press office