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BCC Brexit Report

2nd March 2017

The British Chambers of Commerce has today published a document entitled Business Brexit Priorities.  A copy is attached.  This paper is consistent with the results of research undertaken by Chambers of Commerce in Scotland and we are comfortable with the broad principles expressed in the document.  Liz Cameron was interviewed on Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme this morning on this report and we know that some local Chambers have also been asked for comment.  The following quote is our suggested ‘line to take’:

  • Chambers of Commerce take a practical approach towards the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.  Scotland’s businesses will continue to trade with businesses in Europe and elsewhere in the world, no matter what agreement is ultimately reached.  However, it is in our economic and business interests that there is clarity around the process, an opportunity for the business voice to be heard, and that the eventual deal is one which champions the interests of free trade.
  • Our members are clear that what they want is a deal which keeps tariff barriers at a minimum and which continues to ensure that non-tariff barriers, such as regulation, promote ease of compliance.  Businesses want clarity on the futures of their EU staff and also need to be able to plan for their future talent needs, whether they are sourced domestically or internationally.  They also want clarity around which EU funding arrangements will remain in place and which will be replaced by new domestic schemes.
  • Whilst some of this information may not be clear until the deal with the EU is ultimately complete, businesses need and expect clarity on what will happen following the triggering of Article 50 and how things will be managed during any transitional period following the deadline for EU withdrawal.  The UK Government has been clear on the starting point for negotiations, but not the ends it is seeking to achieve.  Chambers of Commerce will continue to engage fully with both the Scottish and UK Governments to ensure that Scotland’s business voice is heard throughout.”

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