Responding to calls from the Secretaries of State for Brexit and Trade at the Conservative Party Conference for more optimism, Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:
“We want to support the Government where we can, but doing so requires more openness and clarity of thought on the road ahead. For too long the debate on how to Brexit has been about what the UK and EU don’t want going forward.
“We are united with the Government in wanting the negotiations to move on to discussing trade, but many questions remain about what will take the place of our current membership of the Single Market and Customs Union.
“From rolling over current EU trade deals with third countries, to creating new mechanisms for regulatory cooperation with Europe, businesses want to know now how they can safeguard against the potential for disruption to their existing cross-border relationships.
“As David Davis said, this is the most complex negotiation one could imagine, but the answer is to involve businesses in navigating those challenges more, not to keep them on tenterhooks until the last minute.
“The success of Brexit and our ability to fully grasp more global opportunities depends on how skilfully we can address some of the more imminent risks ahead. Business wants to support Government in this time of uncertainty, but to do so we need to know where it thinks it is going first.”