Salzburg Summit Brexit talks: Priority #1 = Ensure an Orderly Brexit

Chambers Ireland today, in association with Eurochambres (the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry) has published a new position paper conveying a simple message to EU27 Heads of State for their Salzburg Summit talks on Brexit this evening and tomorrow; focus on finalizing the UK Withdrawal Agreement to ensure an orderly Brexit and transition phase.

As the clock ticks down towards 29 March 2019, the paper also demonstrates the efforts behind the scenes by Chambers to prepare thousands of businesses that trade with the UK for Brexit and for the possibility of a no-deal scenario.

With only six months to go until the end of the Article 50 negotiation period, the Eurochambres position paper, ‘On track for a Trade-Oriented Brexit?’, drafted and agreed by national Chambers of Commerce across the EU27, underlines the lack of progress in the eyes of businesses and their growing levels of concern.

Speaking this afternoon, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said,
“Concern is growing, not just in Ireland but across the business community in the EU as to the growing possibility of no deal by next March. This scenario will have devastating economic consequences for trade, impacting not just business but consumers across Europe.”

“Chambers continue to work with their members to prepare them for a possibility of a no-deal Brexit, which is no easy process given the lack of clarity on both the outcome and the timing.”

“Our message to EU27 leaders in Salzburg is clear: the priority must be to finalize the Withdrawal Agreement and ensure an orderly Brexit. The business community cannot be faced with a cliff-edge scenario in the new year. Whatever future trading relationship is agreed between the EU and the UK, and we do hope there is an ambitious agreement that supports the existing strong trading relationship, a period of transition must be in place after the UK’s exit. We could face a dramatically different trading environment in the future and if that is the case, business will need time to prepare and adjust. A greater sense of urgency is required to bring the current negotiations to a workable solution.”