Responding to the publication of the Government’s Trade Bill and Customs Bill, Mike Cherry, National Chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "What's critical now is that businesses are given a firm commitment to a transition period post-Brexit. This interim arrangement must allow businesses that trade with the EU, to operate broadly in the same way as currently is the case, and maintain current terms of access to the EU customs union and single market during a time-limited period. "In due course one of the major opportunities of Brexit will be our ability to operate an independent trade policy and strike new ambitious global trade deals with all the benefits they can bring for smaller businesses. "Of course, in the short term it's really important that existing Free Trade Agreements, that the UK is part of through its current membership of the EU, are rolled over so that there's no cliff-edge for small firms. "It's also essential that the UK is able to become an independent member of the Agreement on Government Procurement, allowing small businesses to have continued access to government contracts and procurement opportunities."