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Businesses urge government to make 'urgent progress' during upcoming Brexit talks

19 Sep 2017

More than 100 UK businesses have signed a letter to the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, urging him to ensure that 'urgent progress' is made in the next round of Brexit talks.

The letter calls for Mr Davis to make sure that transitional arrangements are secured.

Signatories of the letter represent 'businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions of the UK', and have responsibility for over 500,000 jobs in the UK and 600,000 jobs in the EU.

In the letter, the businesses state that they need to make investment and employment decisions now that will have consequences for economic growth and jobs in the future.

The businesses affirm that, until transitional arrangements can be agreed upon, the risk of the government failing to secure a Brexit deal 'remains real'. The firms therefore want 'substantive progress' to be made in the upcoming negotiations.

Commenting on the issue, Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: 'Businesses are deeply concerned about Brexit and getting more so by the day. Not about the fact that Britain's exit from the EU is happening – they’re fully committed to making it work. The concern is how we do it.

'The top priority is to open talks on a 'status quo' transition for business, lasting two to three years. That will clear a path to discussing the main prize: trade between the UK and the rest of the EU.'

The letter can be read in full here.