CBI - Confederation of British Industry

10/13/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/13/2017 03:20

Barnier to judge no 'sufficient progress' made on Brexit negotiations

The Prime Minister's Florence speech shifted the tone and optimism of talks but the fifth round of negotiations ends without the progress business needs to see.

The fifth round of Brexit negotiations came to a close yesterday (12 October) in Brussels without demonstrating the progress that business needs to see at this stage in the Article 50 process.

Lead EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier stated his belief that 'sufficient progress' has not been made on three withdrawal issues of citizens, the Irish border, and the financial settlement, and as such that next week he will not recommend that the European Council give him the mandate to move negotiations on to discussion on the future relationship of the EU and the UK.

In contrast, lead UK negotiator David Davis stated that talks are ready to move on to discussing the future relationship and that he hopes that the European Council will recognise the progress that has been made and give Barnier the mandate to move talks forward.

The CBI believes that the negotiations need to progress as soon as possible to allow agreement of a 'status quo' transition period as an immediate priority so that businesses in the UK and the EU have the certainty they need to plan for the future.

CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said it was that vital that both sides show the leadership and determination to get the talks moving more quickly with jobs and investment across Europe depend upon progress being made. Carolyn emphasised the importance of a clear guarantee of the right to remain for citizens in both the UK and EU27 to bring an end to the uncertainty hanging over the future status of four million people.

The European Council will meet on 19 and 20 October to decide on the direction and content of the Brexit negotiations going forward, with no further negotiating rounds currently scheduled.

As part of our latest, on-going series of podcasts, listen to the CBI's Chief Economist, Rain Newton-Smith, talk about the Single Market here and the head of EU negotiations, Nicole Sykes, tell listers what the Customs Union is, and why it's such an important factor in the negotiations here.

For more information on the business views of Brexit, visit our website hub to find all CBI reports and insight, or contact us at [email protected].