Survey shows British businesses want barrier-free access to EU after Brexit

A survey of private businesses employing nearly a third of the British workforce found that most companies want barrier-free access to the European Union (EU) market after Brexit takes place.

The survey released on Wednesday by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), also found firms wanted loose immigration rules, so that they would be able to recruit talented workers from abroad.

In addition, firms wanted "a smooth exit from the the EU, avoiding a cliff-edge that causes disruption."

Firms are worried that a sharp change from the current regime where Britain-based companies have freedom of access and movement within the EU, to one where barriers may apply, would be disruptive.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director of the CBI, said: "From aviation and chemicals to life sciences and agriculture, firms of all sizes will want to understand how easy it will be for them to trade in the future with the EU which remains the biggest market for British businesses.

"They need to know what rules they will be working by and how they can still secure access to skilled workers and labour, where shortages already exist."

The report identified that many legal requirements have cross-sector implications -- for example, energy and environmental regulations have an impact on construction, housing, manufacturing, water companies.

The CBI report noted that the success or failure of some sectors could affect others -- the future of financial services regulation, for example, was raised by firms in the automotive, housing, real estate and retail sectors, given the role they play in finance, insurance and pensions.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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