10 January 2019


A New Year for breaking the Brexit impasse?

Politicians are returning from their constituencies ahead of Tuesday’s Meaningful Vote, with a significant number preparing to rebel against the Government. Meanwhile in the EU, UK negotiators try to find a way of reaching written commitments on the Irish backstop to break the political impasse in parliament.

A New Year for breaking the Brexit impasse?

As the Brexit turmoil in Westminster continues into the New Year, the CBI has urged government to use 2019 to refocus its efforts on making the UK economy fairer and more prosperous through continued engagement with MPs and media interventions, including an interview on Channel 4 News, a piece in the House magazine, and a joint piece with other business organisations. Investors around the world are starting to ask why they should invest in the UK, and 2019 must be the year they get a loud and compelling answer.

To begin a drive for greater competitiveness, the CBI has called for removing the heightened uncertainty around Brexit. This means taking no deal off the table by seeking compromises on all sides of the House of Commons. It also means breaking the impasse on the Withdrawal Agreement and delivering a jobs first transition period to allow businesses time to adapt to future regulatory and economic changes. Politicians must ensure a Westminster drama doesn’t end in a national economic crisis over the coming weeks.

With the vote looming, the CBI will continue to make the case to MPs that talk of a ‘managed no deal’ is pure fiction. Compromises must be found to break the political deadlock around the Withdrawal Agreement and move on to the all-important discussions on the future trading relationship.

A key part of the CBI’s work will be to lay out the regional impact of no deal backed up by business case studies directly from the factory and office floor. The CBI will also be meeting with senior cabinet ministers as well as backbench MPs and will continue to engage with our sister federations in the EU and umbrella group Business Europe to push EU negotiators to seek compromises to avert a no deal.

If you would like to contribute to these case studies, either anonymously or publicly, please email Russell Antram: Russell.antram@cbi.org.uk

The CBI will continue to monitor parliamentary developments closely over the coming days and will be communicating regularly with members. It is time for pragmatism to outweigh dogma and for politicians to put the best interests of their constituents first.

For more information please get in touch with the CBI’s EU Negotiations team or visit the CBI Brexit hub.