Reaction to Brexit negotiations moving forward

Announced last week, the prime minister has secured a deal with the European Commission that will allow negotiations on Brexit to move forward to the next phase.

In a joint press conference in Brussels, Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed that the UK and the EU will progress their negotiations to talk about future transition periods and trade relations.

The deal stated that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens in the EU will have their rights guaranteed, and the UK has agreed to settle its financial commitment with the EU over a number of years.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) congratulates the Government on making sure that negotiations to leave the EU have moved onto the next round, but the hardest part is still to come. The NFB urges the Government to focus on achieving a final withdrawal agreement that addresses the main demands of the Construction Industry Brexit Manifesto.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “The worst enemy of businesses, especially SMEs, is uncertainty. We welcome the positive developments in the Brexit negotiations with the ambition to secure a good Brexit deal for construction SMEs, in line with the priorities set out in the Construction Industry Brexit Manifesto.”

Ian Cass, managing director of the Forum of Private Business, said: “We’re delighted the initial wrangling is over and that the talks will now be about trade, but before negotiations start on this we feel that the government needs to better understand what businesses want from a trade deal and how they can best support them, which is something we’ve outlined in our ‘Get Britain Trading’ campaign.

“If British business is to succeed post-Brexit then we need to get the right deal. That means politicians listening to the business community now.”