BCC comments on the second reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill 

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“An end to the deadlock in Westminster will provide some relief for business – but it’s just the first step down a long road for our business communities. Getting the detail of Brexit right is far more important than simply getting it done.

“Unless a comprehensive UK-EU trade agreement is in place by the end of next year, businesses could once again face a cliff-edge – and seismic changes to trading conditions equivalent to a no-deal exit.

“Ministers must urgently consult businesses communities throughout the UK and British firms operating in Europe, to ensure that the new relationship meets real-world needs rather than short-term political objectives.

“They must also provide answers on what additional procedures – and therefore costs – businesses could face when trading between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, particularly in the unwelcome event that a new agreement cannot be reached in the next 12 months.

“Getting the next stage of Brexit right requires a real partnership with business. Confidence, investment and the prosperity of many parts of the United Kingdom depend on getting the details right in the New Year.”