EY comment: Businesses will welcome additional clarity about negotiation priorities

17 January 2017

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Mats Persson, EY’s head of international trade, comments:

“Businesses will welcome the additional clarity about the Government’s negotiation priorities. As expected, Theresa May announced that Britain will leave both the single market and the EU’s external trade tariff.

“Three elements of the speech stand out: first, hints that the UK is willing to walk away from the negotiations in the absence of a satisfactory deal. Secondly, the clear preference for a interim arrangements, which will be welcomed by the business community. Finally, the ambition to achieve a bespoke arrangement on customs to limit disruption to trade.

“On the other hand, despite some market excitement, the commitment to have a vote in Parliament on the final Brexit deal was expected and will likely have limited impact in practice.”  

“The next big thing to watch is how the EU-UK negotiations are structured and sequenced, where Britain is likely to continue to insist that the divorce settlement and the new Free Trade Agreement are negotiated in parallel.”