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Business groups urge Government to avoid ‘hard’ Brexit


Business groups, including the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), have penned an open letter to the Government, urging it to avoid a so-called ‘hard’ Brexit by preserving barrier-free access to the EU’s Single Market.


The letter, which is also signed by manufacturers’ organisation the EEF and technology firm techUK, states that the terms under which the UK leaves the EU are ‘of critical importance to jobs and investment’.


The business groups claim that trading under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules would leave 90% of UK goods trade with the EU ‘subject to new tariffs’.


This, the letter continues, would result in additional costs of 20% for the food and drink industry and extra costs of 10% for car manufacturers.


Such costs would have significant consequences for British exporters and importers, as well as for those within their supply chains, the letter’s signatories suggest.


‘Every credible study that has been conducted has shown that this WTO option would do serious and lasting damage to the UK economy and those of our trading partners,’ the groups wrote.


They are calling for the Government to make sure that the terms of the deal to leave the EU will ensure stability, prosperity and improved living standards in the UK.