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December 11, 2017

British retailers welcome Brexit progress

British retailers have welcomed the news that a deal has been struck to allow Brexit negotiations to move on to the next phase – but warn the focus must now be on getting the best deal for consumers and to better understand the needs of British business.

By Beth Wright

British retailers have welcomed the news that a deal has been struck to allow Brexit negotiations to move on to the next phase – but warn the focus must now be on getting the best deal for consumers and to better understand the needs of British business.

On Friday (8 December), UK Prime Minister Theresa May met with European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, to sign off a 15-page “progress report” that will allow EU negotiators to recommend opening a second phase of talks on post-Brexit relations.

But while the Forum of Private Business (FBP) welcomes the announcement, it is calling on the government to better understand the needs of British business as it begins trade negotiations.

“We’re delighted the initial wrangling is over and that the talks will now be about trade, but before negotiations start on this we feel that the government needs to better understand what businesses want from a trade deal and how they can best support them, which is something we’ve outlined in our ‘Get Britain Trading’ campaign,” managing director Ian Cass says.

As part of the campaign the FPB wants politicians to work alongside businesses so they can better understand the struggles they deal with and provide the support they “desperately need” from government.

“If British business is to succeed post-Brexit then we need to get the right deal. That means politicians listening to the business community now,” Cass adds.

Meanwhile, writing in a blog post, Graham Wynn, assistant director for consumer, competition and regulatory affairs at the British Retail Consortium (BRC), says the focus must now be on getting the best deal for consumers and ensuring post-Brexit consumer rights are fit for purpose. 

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