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UK Firms Fear Brexit Fallout Without EU FTA

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Businesses do not want the UK to leave the European Union without securing a free trade agreement, a survey has found.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said that just two percent of 2,400 companies surveyed would want the UK to leave the Single Market and Customs Union and rely on World Trade Organisation rules for trade.

Of the other respondents:

  • 34 percent said the UK should remain in the Single Market and Customs Union;
  • 13 percent said the UK should remain in the Customs Union only. This would involve no hard borders or tariffs but limited scope to negotiate trade agreements with third countries;
  • 11 percent said remain in the Single Market only (accept EU regulations and rules in return for full access to the EU market);
  • 28 percent said the UK should negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement and a customs agreement (the government's pre-election objectives, set at the Prime Minister's Lancaster House speech); and
  • 12 percent said don't know or favored an alternative solution.

Meanwhile 46 percent of respondents favored a transition period of three years, rather than the current two.

"Getting transition arrangements on the negotiations agenda as quickly as possible would give businesses - many of whom are considering big investment decisions now - the confidence to press ahead," said Adam Marshall, Director General of BCC.

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