Covid-hit businesses call for pragmatic approach to secure historic UK-EU agreement – CBI, DMA & trade associations

The CBI, DMA and 70 other trade associations and professional bodies representing 190,000 businesses and 7 million employees are calling for politicians on both sides to carve a path towards a deal.

Sectors from automotive to aviation, chemicals to creative industries, and farming and food to pharmaceuticals – are united: securing a quick agreement matters greatly for jobs and livelihoods.

Clarity on an ambitious deal will turbo charge business preparations and increase confidence in the U.K. as a place to invest. Crucially, it will also help ease the sustainable implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The statement below (see Notes to Editors for full list of signatories) is accompanied by details from 21 trade associations and professional bodies outlining how a deal will help their sector contribute fully to the UK’s economic recovery.

It follows an intervention earlier this week by leading European business groups from France, Germany and Italy, calling for ‘a solution which ensures smooth trading conditions’

Joint statement starts: 

“Now is the time for historic political leadership. With compromise and tenacity, a deal can be done. Businesses call on leaders on both sides to find a route through

“The clarity that comes with an ambitious deal will have an instant impact on firms’ efforts to prepare. It will help investment by removing the threat of tariffs and quotas. And it will catalyse confidence through enhanced customs cooperation while making a precious data agreement possible, vital for services industries which make up 80% of the UK economy.  

“Businesses are doing what they can to prepare for Brexit. But firms face a hat-trick of unprecedented challenges: rebuilding from the first wave of COVID-19, dealing with the second and uncertainty over the UK’s trading relationship with the EU. 

“That’s why more than three quarters of UK firms say they need a deal, quickly. 

“With each day that passes, business resilience is chipped away. A swift deal is the single most effective way to support recovery in communities across Europe.  

“After four years of debate, there must be a resolution. 2021 can then be a year to rebuild, rather than regret.” 

Full list of signatories

  • Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association (AA)
  • Richard Torbett, Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)
  • Helen Brand OBE, CEO of  the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of ADS Group
  • Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK
  • Karen Dee, Chief Executive of the Airports Operators Association (AOA)
  • Paul Hide, CEO of AMEDA
  • Dids Macdonald OBE, CEO of Anti Copying in Design (ACID)
  • Ann Swain, CEO of The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo)
  • Helen Brand OBE, Chief Executive of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • David Camp, CEO of Association of Labour Providers (ALP)
  • Paul Hide, CEO of The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances
  • John White, CEO of Bacta
  • Tony Smith, Chairman of British Measurement and Testing Association (BMTA)
  • Wayne Grills, CEO of British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI)
  • Dr Laura Cohen, Chief Executive of the British Ceramic Confederation (BCC)
  • Tom Bowtell, CEO Of British Coatings Federation (BCF)
  • Ellen Daniels, CEO of British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA)
  • Emma English, Executive Director of British Educational Travel Association (BETA)
  • Christopher Buxton, CEO of The British Fluid Power Association (BFPA)
  • Lucy Reece-Raybould, CEO of British Footwear Association (BFA)
  • Robert Keen, Director General of British International Freight Association (BIFA)
  • Lesley Brian, CEO of British Marine
  • John Newcomb, CEO of British Merchants Federation (BMF)
  • Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association (BPA)
  • Melanie Leech CBE, CEO of British Property Federation (BPF)
  • Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium (BRC)
  • Mike Reddington, Chief Executive of British Security Industry Association (BSIA)
  • Rob Cooper, Managing Director of British Stainless Steel Association (BSSA)
  • Gerry Keaney, CEO of British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA)
  • Suzannah Nichol MBE, Chief Executive of Build UK
  • David Frise, CEO of Building Engineering Services Association (BESA)
  • Julia Evans OBE, CEO of Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA)
  • Ann Francke OBE, CEO of The Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
  • Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association (CIA)
  • Peter Newport, CEO of Chemical Business Association (CBA)
  • Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
  • Geraldine Bolton, CEO of Confederation of British Metalforming (CBM)
  • Stuart Goodall, CEO of Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor)
  • Mark Bridgeman, President of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA)
  • Caroline Norbury, CEO of Creative Industries Federation
  • Chris Combemale, CEO of Data & Marketing Association (DMA)
  • Deb Oxley OBE, CEO of Employee Ownership Association (EOA)
  • Emma Pinchbeck, CEO of Energy UK
  • Jack Semple, Alliance Secretary of Engineering and Machinery Alliance (EAMA)
  • Kim Bailey, CEO of Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA)
  • Ian Wright CBE, CEO of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF)
  • Gordon Polson, CEO of Federation of Bakers (Fob)
  • Russell Beattie, CEO of Federation of Environmental Trade Associations
  • Stephen Hadrill, CEO of Finance and Leasing Association (FLA)
  • Vicky Nuttall, Director of GIMA
  • Michael Izza, Chief Executive of Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • David Hare, CEO of Independent Healthcare Providers Network
  • David Greene, President of the Law Society of England and Wales
  • David Wells, CEO of Logistics UK
  • James Selka, CEO of the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA)
  • Alex Waugh, Director General of The National Association of British and Irish Millers (nabim)
  • Terry Jones, Director General of the NFU of England & Wales
  • Deidre Michie OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Oil and Gas UK (OGUK)
  • Michael Bellingham, Chief Executive of Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA)
  • Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)
  • Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of The Road Haulage Association (RHA)
  • Karen Betts, CEO of Scotch Whiskey Association (SWA)
  • Mike Hawes, CEO of Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Limited (SMMT)
  • Julian David, CEO of techUK
  • Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK
  • David Dalton-Brown, CEO of The Investing and Saving Alliance (TISA)
  • Kurt Jansen, Director of Tourism Alliance
  • Bob Sanguinetti, Chief Executive of UK Chamber of Shipping
  • Adam Mansell, CEO of the UK Fashion and Textile Association
  • Kate Nichols, CEO of UK Hospitality
  • Helen Brocklebank, Chief Executive of Walpole

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