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08 December 2017

Time to talk trade and transition in Brexit negotiations

FSB press release

For immediate release: Friday 8 December 2017

Time to talk trade and transition in Brexit negotiations

Responding to this morning’s step forward in the Brexit talks, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry, said:

“The UK’s millions of small businesses will be pleased to hear that finally it appears the Brexit talks are about to move onto the second stage. The focus must now shift to the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU. This should include by early next year a guarantee that there will be no cliff-edge moment on Brexit day, but instead an orderly, time-limited transition period so that small firms only have one set of rule changes. The final deal must have as few barriers to trade as possible.

“Today’s pledge on the rights of EU citizens in the UK is in line with what FSB has pushed both the UK and EU to agree – a sensible cut-off point not before we leave the EU, and a commitment to a low-cost, simple registration system. Small firms with EU citizens in their workforce will be relieved to give their staff the certainty they need about the protection of their rights. As we leave the EU, businesses will need to continue to be able to find the workers and skills that they require, and today’s pledge is an encouraging sign of a sensible, pro-business attitude.

“On Northern Ireland, we look forward to further progress being made in the next phase of the Brexit talks, but welcome the commitment to avoid a hard border.”