FTA has called the Government’s Brexit draft agreement ‘a decisive step forwards in the process of the UK’s departure from the EU’.
The detail of the agreement, which will go before Parliament today, includes elements the FTA says will allow “continued frictionless movement of goods and maintain the integrity of the UK’s supply chain”.
David Wells, FTA chief executive, said: “Based on the briefing I received yesterday evening from the Chancellor and the Business Secretary, the draft text seems to have recognised the vital importance of preserving the frictionless movement of goods and the availability of EU workers while a new permanent trade deal is negotiated.
“If so, we believe it is crucial that MPs understand how important these outcomes are to economy and the economic security and welfare of the country.”
Wells said remaining in the Customs Union will help maintain the transport of goods and services between the UK and the EU until a new trade agreement can be negotiated.
The FTA is also supportive of the confirmation from the Government of a transition period up until December 2020. The FTA has been lobbying for a transition period which it said will enable Britain’s businesses to prepare for a seamless transition to new trading arrangements.
Wells said: “Today’s news is a decisive step in the right direction, and FTA calls on parliament to respect these crucial economic factors in deciding how it votes, to avoid a disorderly departure from the EU which could cause untold problems for manufacturers, retailers and exporters and protect the ability for Britain to keep trading.”
Mike Hawes, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) chief executive, is also supportive of the draft agreement, describing it as "a positive step in avoiding the devastating consequences of ‘no-deal’ and securing a transition period".
He said: "It is, however, only a first step and business seeks certainty and ambition when it comes to securing a competitive future. Truly frictionless trade is the only way to ensure the industry’s future success, and this should be the objective for all parties as we move into negotiating the permanent UK-EU relationship."
The story on Brexit is moving quickly, with news this morning that Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has resigned due to being unable to support the UK's draft Brexit agreement with EU.