Businesses want continued alignment with EU rules, claims CBI report

Posted On: 
11th April 2018

Choosing to diverge from EU rules after Brexit will mean more costs for British businesses, the Confederation of British Industry has warned.

Carmakers are among the companies concerned about the regulatory impact of Brexit
Credit: 
PA

In its latest report. titled 'Smooth Operations', the CBI says the vast majority of sectors of the British economy would benefit from continued alignment with European regulations. 

The business group claims any benefits to areas such as tourism and agriculture from leaving the EU framework are "vastly outweighed" by the damage to other sectors.

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CBI chairman Carolyn Fairbairn also says the Government needs a "major acceleration" in its collaboration with businsses.

"It's vitally important that negotiators understand the complexity of rules and the effects that even the smallest of changes can have," she said.

"Deviation from rules in one sector will have a knock-on effect on businesses in others, and divergence from rules in one part of a production process will have consequences for market access throughout entire supply chains.

"It's hard to overstate the importance of the decisions that will be taken over the next six months. Put simply, for the majority of businesses, diverging from EU rules and regulations will make them less globally competitive, and so should only be done where the evidence is clear that the benefits outweigh the costs."

But the findings were rubbished by pro-Brexit group Leave means Leave, which questioned the CBI's credentials to speak on behalf of British business.

“This report from the CBI protects the vested interests of global multi-nationals at the expense of the approximately 90 per cent of the UK economy that does not export to the EU," said the group's co-chair, Richard Tice.

"It is quite extraordinary that this business lobby group wants to keep a load of unnecessary EU regulations that stifle growth and innovation, which will thus reduce wage growth potential for UK workers."