The CBI has responded to a speech given by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, on the first day of the Conservative Party Conference.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:
“Announcing that Article 50 will be triggered within six months, the Prime Minister has removed one big question – on timing – but has accelerated an urgent need for answers on others.
“With a rapid timetable pointing to an exit from the EU in spring 2019, businesses need to know the Government’s ambition on the fundamental issues of skills and barrier-free access to EU markets as soon as possible.
“With the Great Repeal Bill we now know that on the day the UK leaves the EU, the rules businesses must follow will be broadly the same as they are today. As long as this does not lead to a bonfire of good regulation and maintains consistent rules so companies can trade easily with EU neighbours, this has the potential to help.
“But businesses cannot continue to operate in the dark in other areas. The decisions they face today are real and pressing.
"The Government’s desire to play its negotiating cards close to its chest must be tempered by clear indications on how we will trade with the UK’s most important partner and how firms will be able to employ the people needed to drive growth.
“A clear roadmap for how the Government will consult businesses of all sectors and sizes is essential to increase confidence that these complex decisions are taken on the basis of fact and a genuine understanding of the economic implications.
“There has never been a more important time for the Government to show pride and confidence in UK business. It is time to do all we can, with Government and industry working in sincere partnership to ensure the UK is a great place for businesses to invest. Our economy and future prosperity depend on it.”