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U.K. businesses need barrier-free EU trade, says CBI

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Staff Writer | December 22, 2016
The U.K. government must seek "barrier-free" trading access to the European Union for British businesses, said the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
Paul Drechsler
Britain   To be as smooth as possible
CBI said the government's talks to formally exit the bloc should be governed by principles that "every sector agrees should guide the U.K.'s negotiation with the EU," including a "barrier-free" trading relationship with the EU, a clear plan for regulation and access to labor.

"The government's plan for leaving the EU must address all these areas, and be as smooth as possible," it said.

The CBI, which represents 190,000 businesses in the U.K, said the EU is the most important single trading partner for every major sector of the U.K. economy, with around 44% of U.K. products exported to the EU and 53% of U.K. imports from the EU.

Among the industries most affected by the U.K.'s trading relationship with the EU, says the CBI, are manufacturers with cross-border supply chains in aerospace, automotive and life science.

In addition, international investors in professional and business services, financial services and technology use the U.K. as a European headquarters, it said.

The CBI also said the U.K. government must provide a clearer vision on British businesses' future trading relationship with the EU.

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