12 April 2018

  |  CBI Press Team


CBI sets out A-Z guide on the EU rules that matter most to business

Smooth operations, the CBI’s new Brexit report, provides negotiators with unparalleled economic evidence from 23 industry and services sectors.

In order to ensure the EU negotiations are rooted in economic evidence, the CBI has published a new piece of research - Smooth operations - on the regulatory needs of 23 industry and service sectors in the UK. Over the past few months, Ministers and civil servants have increasingly been asking the business community to provide more detailed evidence of what they need for the final deal, including on the future of rules and regulations. This new report is one of the CBI’s steps to bring that detail and fact-based evidence to the table.

Headline messages from the report

The analysis is based on evidence from thousands of UK businesses of all sizes and sectors, as well as dozens of leading trade associations, and seeks to provide negotiators with the evidence on where businesses want to stay closely aligned to EU rules and where they do not.

An important finding of the report is that changes to rules in one sector have significant knock on effects for companies in other sectors and throughout supply chains.  Whilst the report acknowledges the UK will no longer have the same say in EU rule-making as member states, new mechanisms will be needed to manage alignment and for the UK to influence rules that affect it.

Based on the findings, the CBI has devised three principles that should guide both UK and EU negotiators:

  • Where rules are fundamental to the trade or transport of goods, the UK and EU must negotiate ongoing convergence.
  • As part of the new relationship, negotiators should set a new international precedent for liberalising trade in services and digital products.
  • Alignment will need to come with mechanisms for influence and enforcement that benefit both sides. Cooperation will be vital to ensure that regulatory systems match sufficiently to enable frictionless trade.

The evidence from companies across the country will be essential in the months ahead to ensure that negotiators understand the complexity of rules and the effects that even the smallest of changes can have on businesses. A major acceleration in the partnership between business and the UK Government is now required to make a success of Brexit. The CBI will be doing all it can to ensure the business voice is heard by policy makers, who will set the future direction of our economy for generations to come.

For more information, insight and intelligence on the latest Brexit developments and its implications, visit the CBI’s Brexit hub, or contact EUNegotiations@cbi.org.uk.