Pragmatism called for in Brexit negotiations

The British Chambers of Commerce has requested from government that business and economic issues feature prominently in Brexit negotiations.

Adam Marshall, Director General, said:

“As Brexit talks commence, UK firms want practical economic issues to be at the heart of the negotiations. Business wants an atmosphere of pragmatism, civility and mutual respect to characterise this complex process.

“Over the coming weeks and months, the UK government must demonstrate how it is working to address the everyday considerations of British companies in the talks – who can they hire, whether their goods will be stopped at borders, and whether they will have to cope with extra costs.

“Parties on both sides should begin the negotiations by seeking to guarantee the rights of EU citizens already in the UK, and UK citizens in the EU-27.  Swift agreement on citizens’ rights would remove a highly emotive and politicised issue from the complex road ahead, while at the same time ending a year-long source of uncertainty for individuals, communities and employers alike.

“It’s important to remember that negotiations on some of the most crucial business issues, such as the nature of the future UK-EU trading relationship, won’t begin straight away. We will continue to campaign for the priorities and concerns of business communities across the UK as negotiations continue – and ensure that their practical priorities are front and centre.”

Prior to the commencement of the negotiations, BCC, in a joint statement with other business support organisations, set out how it would like to see the negotiations concluded.  The statement included the following principles:


  • Tariff-free goods trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union
  • Minimal customs formalities at the land, sea and air borders between the United Kingdom and the European Union
  • Regulatory equivalence and mutual recognition of standards on an ongoing basis to ensure continued mutual access for both goods and services
  • A flexible system for the movement of labour and skills between the United Kingdom and the European Union, that enjoys public support
  • On-going UK participation in those pan-European programmes, initiatives and agencies which add real economic value to communities, businesses, young people and universities
  • Protection of the benefits of free trade agreements currently delivered through the European Union.