Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech on Brexit in Florence today, Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:
“Businesses will be pleased that a transition or implementation period has been firmly established as government policy. As the UK is seeking an ‘imaginative and creative’ deal from the EU, we have to be realistic that this will take some time. There will need to be enough space given in order to negotiate this new relationship, and then firms need time to prepare once it’s been agreed. It is absolutely vital that businesses only have to adjust once to the new rules. The Prime Minister said that the implementation period would be time-limited, but this, like so many things, is still subject to negotiation.
“There was welcome honesty in today’s speech that not following one of the existing models will have some implications for market access for UK firms. A lot more honesty will be needed as the Brexit negotiations continue, as any decision on immigration or regulation, for example, will have knock-on effects and businesses and the public are entitled to know what the trade-offs are.
“IoD members will adapt to a new relationship with the EU. Brexit is a huge undertaking, and the Government will only make a success of it if it acknowledges that stepping back from the EU will require diligence and compromise. Companies will now be hoping the Government unites behind this common purpose, and hope to see significant progress in the next round of talks.”