Call comes as as Britain prepares to trigger Article 50, sparking concern among industry leaders that no deal or a bad deal could be a lose-lose for both parties. Tony McDonough reports.
Manufacturers in the UK and Europe are uniting with one voice to urge both sides of the Brexit negotiations to reach a deal that will avoid an “economic shock”.
The call comes as as Britain prepares to trigger Article 50, sparking concern among industry leaders that no deal or a bad deal could be a lose-lose for both parties.
Brussels-based Manufacturing group, CEEMET – which includes the UK’s EEF along with French, German and Italian manufacturing organisations – has called on both sides to “affect a stable and orderly exit, preserving as much as possible the often complex and delicate trading relationships that are in place”.
Uwe Combüchen, director general of CEEMET, said: “Simply put, a negotiation which produces no deal would be highly damaging for industry in the EU as well as the UK.
“There must be pragmatism on all sides. It is not in the EU or the UK’s interests to lead industry to cliff-edge decisions, which will ultimately damage investment opportunities and business confidence.”
Terry Scuoler, chief executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, agreed, adding: “These negotiations are likely to be among the toughest and most critical the UK has ever been involved in.
“It is imperative that the Government is focused on securing a deal that will enable both British and European businesses to flourish, investment and innovation to continue and trade to flow.
“This will be the lifeblood that is key to the UK’s future economic success – we cannot afford to see it disrupted or turned off in mid-flow.
“As a priority, we now want to see the Government seek early agreement with the EU over the future of EU citizens living and working here in the UK and their British counterparts similarly living and working in Europe.
“Not only is this the right thing to do, but it will send out a clear and reassuring signal to EU workers and the many British businesses that rely upon their skills to drive innovation and growth in the UK.”