NEWS19 October 2020

Businesses call for leadership to reach Brexit deal

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UK – Industry organisations including the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Advertising Association (AA) have called for ‘historic political leadership’ to secure a trade agreement between the UK and the EU.

Big Ben and EU flag

Over 70 professional bodies representing 190,000 businesses have signed a joint statement urging politicians in the UK and the EU to negotiate a Brexit deal.

“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 joint statement said.

Businesses are facing a “hat-trick” of challenges, said the organisations – recovering from the first wave of Covid-19, handling the second and uncertainty over the future trading relationship with the EU.

The joint statement said: “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.”

On the issue of data adequacy, Chris Combemale, chief executive of the DMA, one of the signatories, said: “Any interruption on the current free flow of data could jeopardise the estimated £85bn of UK exports that are reliant on exchanging data with the EU, which could be economically disastrous.

“The alternative – mass adoption of standard contractual clauses – is simply not viable for many businesses, as it is administratively burdensome and prone to delays. Therefore, the UK must continue to work with the EU to overcome any hurdles and ensure an adequacy agreement on data is reached.”