Lean on business for Britain’s trading future, urges CBI

Josh Hardie

The Government should build strong mandates by work closely together with business, in order to make a success of the UK’s trade negotiations, according to a new paper from the CBI.

In ‘Building a World-Leading UK Trade Policy’, CBI highlights the principles that will give the UK the best chance of an edge and maximum leverage whilst negotiating trade deals.

The CBI also makes several practical recommendations for how to build a world-leading British trade policy, such as appointed a Chief Business Trade Envoy to gather business intelligence, be a single point of government contact for firms and ensure policy coherence.

Among other things, it also suggests setting up a high-level Strategic EU Trade Advisory Group for EU trade negotiations.

“For the first time in close to fifty years, the UK has the opportunity to build its own trade policy. If we get it right, there is tremendous potential, from more choice and lower prices for consumers to a bigger British economy with prosperity shared more equally across the country,” said Josh Hardie, CBI Deputy Director-General.

“The key for the Government to unlock that success is simple – make the best use of the wealth of expertise business has to offer. It is firms that trade most goods and services, are at the front line of market access barriers, and strike deals every day the world over. Their knowledge and insight – from the factory, shop and office floor to the boardroom – will be mission critical to the UK’s trading future.

“Working closely with business and learning from the success of international trading powerhouses will enable the Government to have crystal clear objectives and maximum leverage when striking ambitious new trade deals.

“If this is combined with a transparent approach that builds buy-in across the country, the UK has a fantastic chance to build the strongest of trade links with partners old and new.”