Responding to the publication of draft Withdrawal Agreement, Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:
“Business leaders have been desperate for this stage of the negotiations to reach a conclusion, and although it has taken longer than firms would have liked, it is clear definitive progress been made between the UK and EU. It is particularly welcome that the Cabinet has now come to an agreement on the withdrawal text and the outline of the future framework. We look forward to a summit at the end of this month where we can finally say to our members that the ink is dry on this deal.
“We urge all politicians to think long and hard about how they react to this first-stage agreement. Leaving the EU without a deal is a very bad outcome for businesses, workers and consumers, and this is simply an inherent risk that comes with voting down any withdrawal deal. Our members will adjust to a new relationship with the EU, but they must be allowed to do this in as smooth and orderly manner as possible.
“We, like many, will be seeking clarification from both sides about several areas, in particular on the remaining detail for the future framework declaration. But we are also heartened to see that provision has been made for an extension to the transition period, which may be needed not only to avoid the deployment of the backstop but also to ensure firms have enough time to adjust to any new changes once the new economic partnership has been agreed.”