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Press Releases Global Business Connected Business Policy publications - Brexit

Next government must get down to detail on trade

06 Dec 2019


The next Government must get down to the details on international trade – both for Brexit and beyond – the IoD has argued, publishing the final in a series of papers making recommendations to the political parties ahead of next week's election.

The IoD calls on the incoming administration to:

  • Commit to a ‘trade sense check’, assessing the potential impact of new domestic regulation on our trade with other countries. Reviewing the draft Digital Services Tax should form an immediate part of this.
  • Ensure companies have a sufficient adjustment period before any new relationship with the EU comes into effect.
  • Commit to publishing negotiating objectives well in advance of all new trade talks.
  • Make imports a more positive part of the Government’s narrative on promoting trade.

In the event that the EU Withdrawal Agreement passes through Parliament after the election, the directors’ body also sets out key actions to smooth the exit process. These include protecting Northern Ireland’s place in the UK internal market and providing targeted financial support to SMEs for Brexit planning and adjustment.

Alongside these priorities, the IoD  published new survey data showing nearly twice as many members think the details of the future relationship with the EU are the main priority, ahead of the time it takes to hammer them out.

On immigration, the IoD is calling for vastly improved data, reduced bureaucracy, and confirmation that no net target would be introduced whatever happens next on Brexit.

Read the IoD’s proposals on Global Business here.

Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:

“While it's impossible to know at this point how Brexit will turn out, business needs a number of commitments from the next government to help navigate its way through choppy trade waters ahead.

"Understanding the exact nature of how arrangements with the EU may change is critical for companies, and our data clearly shows that getting a workable deal after Brexit is more important to business leaders than simply how long it takes to get there.

“We've heard much talk of the idea of 'Global Britain', with little focus so far on the concrete, bread-and-butter issues that are needed to deliver the UK's international ambitions. The ideas we lay out aim to bring the discussion back to basics of what business needs to safeguard and expand their international footprint – with the EU and beyond.”

Survey results:

1008 respondents, conducted between 19-29 November 2019

If the revised Brexit deal passes Parliament, a new round of negotiations will begin on the future trade and economic arrangements between the EU and UK. Which of the following factors is of most importance to your (primary) organisation with respect to the negotiations?

The terms and content of the final deal


How long it takes for these negotiations to conclude


The future trade and economic relationship between the UK and EU is not relevant/important to my organisation


Don't know


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