British Chambers of Commerce wants delay of Brexit if trade deal not reached

British Chambers of Commerce wants delay of Brexit if trade deal not reachedUK's departure from the European Union should be delayed if a trade deal cannot be reached after two years of negotiations, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) wrote in a report ahead of an annual conference on Tuesday.

The business organization said striking a trade agreement within two years after the UK triggers Article 50 would be the “ideal outcome.”

“Should this prove impossible, we should seek an extension to the negotiating period to enable completion of both agreements concurrently,” the BCC said.

As part of a call for an expanded trade drive, the BCC also raised concerns current trade missions are “too small and slow” and “focused on ministerial deal-signing, rather than supporting businesses on the ground”.

BCC Director General Adam Marshall said UK business wanted practical considerations to steer the government’s approach to Brexit negotiations, rather than politics or ideology.

“Most firms care little about the exact process for triggering Article 50, but they care a lot about an unexpected VAT hit to their cash flow, sudden changes to regulation, the inability to recruit the right people for the job, or if their products are stopped by customs authorities at the border,” Marshall said.

The BCC also wants businesses to continue to be allowed to hire skilled and low-skilled EU workers after the UK leaves the bloc.
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