More than 100 UK firms want urgent progress with Brexit
They are underlying the importance of making urgent progress in the next round of Brexit talks.
"We represent businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions of the UK with responsibility for over 500,000 UK and 600,000 EU jobs.
We are committed to helping secure a successful new economic partnership between the UK and the EU, based on the principles of barrier-free trade. We welcome the strengthened collaboration between business and government to achieve this. This must now lead to progress.
"Our businesses need to make decisions now about investment and employment that will affect economic growth and jobs in the future. Continuing uncertainty will adversely affect communities, employees, firms and our nations in the future. Businesses across the EU and UK are clear: being able to plan for a transition of up to 3 years that avoids a cliff edge is critical for our collective prosperity.
"We are therefore writing to urge both sides to be pragmatic and determined to move to the next stage of the negotiations. Until transitional arrangements can be agreed and trade discussed the risk of ‘no deal’ remains real and has to be planned for, with inevitable consequences for jobs and growth on both sides.
"We ask you to ensure that substantive progress is achieved during the upcoming negotiations. Only this will give certainty on the rights of EU and UK citizens working abroad and enable discussion of transitional arrangements in October and trade, by the end of the year.
"Our shared interests vastly outweigh our differences, and we stand ready to help in any way we can to secure a successful outcome for the people and communities of the UK and the EU." ■