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Sector Response as UK and EU agree Brexit Deal

UK and EU agree Brexit Deal

#Brexit – Future collaboration will help UK and EU deliver shared environmental and climate goals 

The UK and EU have today (24 Dec) announced that they have reached an agreement on a trade deal.

Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group, said:

“In the current challenging economic context, the agreement of a deal between the EU and UK is welcome and will provide a degree of clarity to businesses in the UK and Europe. The UK and the EU are both aiming to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and overturn the major declines in biodiversity and the state of the natural environment. Businesses will want to see both parties continue to innovate and work together to meet these goals, grow low carbon trade and build global political momentum on climate and environmental issues. We would encourage both parties to use the upcoming COP26 climate summit to put this collaborative approach into practice.”

Nick Molho added: “Beyond today’s deal with the EU, it is essential that the UK’s trade agreements with the rest of the world are consistent with its net zero emissions and other environmental targets. This should include promoting high standards on the environment and climate change, reducing barriers for trade in low carbon goods and services, and protecting the UK’s future right to regulate on environmental and climate change policy issues.”

In June 2020, Aldersgate Group published a policy briefing, Aligning the UK’s Trade Policy with its Climate and Environmental Goals, outlining how the UK should use the opportunity to develop its own trade policy to deliver its domestic climate and environmental targets.

Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness, said:

“We are very pleased that both UK and EU negotiators have finally been able to come to a free trade agreement. This is positive news that – subject to ratification – opens a new chapter and provides long-awaited certainty for businesses and households on both sides of the Channel at a vital moment.

“We hope it can lay the foundations for a collaborative future partnership as independent partners. We also urge both sides to continue to work on other outstanding issues, including agreeing a framework for regulatory and supervisory cooperation and granting data adequacy.

“A constructive relationship between the UK and EU will be vital to address joint challenges and opportunities such as the digitisation of the economy and climate change.”

UUK has responded to the announcement that the UK and EU have agreed to a deal on a future trade agreement 

Vivienne Stern, Director, Universities UK International said: “It is positive that the UK and EU have reached a deal over a future trade agreement. We must continue to ensure that the UK remains an attractive study option for European students and a deal lays the foundation for continued cooperation. 

“UUK welcomes clarity on the UK’s continued participation in Horizon Europe – this is fantastic news for the scientific community on both sides of the channel, which will allow universities in all regions of the UK to grow the scale and impact of international research collaboration, innovation and partnerships.”

“While the announcement that the UK will now not be participating in Erasmus+ is disappointing, we are pleased that the Prime Minister has committed to a new UK programme to fund global Mobility. We now ask the UK government to quickly provide clarity on this Erasmus+ domestic alternative, and that it be ambitious and fully funded. It must also deliver significant opportunities for future students to go global which the Erasmus programme has provided to date.” 


Tony Danker, CBI Director-General, said:    

“We congratulate David Frost, Michel Barnier and their teams for this landmark achievement, and we praise the courage of our political leaders in reaching a deal. 

“This will come as a huge relief to British business at a time when resilience is at an all-time low. But coming so late in the day it is vital that both sides take instant steps to keep trade moving and services flowing while firms adjust. 

“Firms will immediately study the details, when they can, to understand the implications for their companies, customers and clients but immediate guidance from government is required across all sectors. 

“Above all, we need urgent confirmation of grace periods to smooth the cliff edge on everything from data to rules of origin and we need to ensure we keep goods moving across borders.

“The UK has a bright future outside the European Union and with a deal secured we can begin our new chapter on firmer ground.” 

Across the UK, the CBI speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors. The CBI’s corporate members together employ nearly 7 million people, about one third of private sector-employees. With offices in the UK as well as representation in Brussels, Washington, Beijing and Delhi, the CBI communicates the British business voice around the world.  

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