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Businesses urge Johnson to secure trade deals

Businesses urge Johnson to secure trade deals

  • 13 December 2019
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  • Brexit
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Business groups have urged Boris Johnson to begin work negotiating the terms of the UK's future relationship with the EU after Brexit.

Following Mr Johnson's victory in the election, which he won on a promise to "get Brexit done", businesses have called on him to avoid no-deal.

They are concerned the UK could ditch the EU's trade agreements with the rest of the world before writing its own.

"The real work... starts now," said CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn.

She told the BBC's Today programme that businesses were seeking reassurance that they would not face another "no-deal cliff-edge" Brexit.

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As the outcome of the election became clear, the thoughts of business leaders would have immediately turned to Brexit, said the director general of the Institute of Directors, Jonathan Geldart.

"For directors, 'get Brexit done' will only have meaning once the details of our long-term future relationship with the EU are clear. They need a framework to plan for the future from," he said.

"The prime minister must resist the urge for arbitrary negotiating deadlines and should commit to a proper adjustment period that starts when businesses know the full detail of what changes they may be facing."

He said business bosses were more concerned about the "content and shape of any new deal" rather than simply the speed of agreeing terms.

'Level playing field'

The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, has indicated that the EU is willing to begin negotiating with Mr Johnson.

In a tweet, congratulating the prime minister on his election win, Mr Michel said: "We will negotiate a future trade deal which ensures a true level playing field."

And Donald Trump has said the UK would be free to strike a "massive" new trade deal with the US after Brexit.

"This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the EU," the US president tweeted.