Company bosses from some of the UK’s leading firms have warned UK Brexit negotiators against brinkmanship as talks look set to resume following a stand-still earlier this week.
As Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen were called in to bridge a gap both negotiation parties were struggling to close, business leaders have warned that firms are already overwhelmed by dealing with the ongoing pandemic and that clarity on trading arrangements with the EU are urgently needed with just weeks to go.
Deputy director of the CBI, Josh Hardie, commented on the latest talks: “We always knew the political leaders would have to step in. It is essential they do that. The political brinkmanship and delay is paid for by communities.”
Less than a month ago, leading UK business groups from across industry sectors urged Brexit negotiators to find compromises and find agreement in a bid to avoid a no-deal exit on January 1st.
Over 70 groups, representing millions of workers from across automotive, aviation, chemical pharma, tech and FinTech sectors have been alarmed by the stop-start nature of talks, and have warned that securing an agreement with just days until Brexit for real ‘matters greatly for jobs and livelihoods’.
A poll last month by the Institute of Directors showed nearly one in four companies would not be ready for the end of the transition period, whilst only half said they were fully prepared. Preparations have without a doubt been hampered by the ongoing pandemic, with smaller firms, in particular, struggling to juggle both the immediate threat of Covid and the upcoming impact of Brexit.
Richard Torbett, CEO of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, commented then that: “With each day that passes, business resilience is chipped away.”
“It is absolutely clear that it’s in nobody’s interest — and certainly not patients — to face the future with uncertainty around how medicines will be regulated, tested and moved throughout Europe and the UK.
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