Date: 31.01.2020


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On 31 January 2020, the UK will leave the EU ending a withdrawal process that lasted more than three years.

BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said:

“We regret that the UK will no longer be a member of the EU but we respect the decision of the British people. Now we must focus on the future. Business is far from having any certainty on the future EU-UK relationship and the spectre of a ‘cliff edge’ is not yet off the table. We need to move quickly to avoid this outcome and ensure a smooth transition to the future EU-UK relation with a clear and stable framework that gives confidence to citizens and businesses.”

On 1 February, the UK will enter the so-called transition period, during which little will change in its economic relations with the EU. As this period will expire on 31 December 2020, only 11 months remain for both sides to negotiate and implement a deal on the future relationship.

BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said:

“The future EU-UK relation will have a strong impact on businesses and we expect to be closely engaged in the negotiation process. We want a comprehensive and ambitious EU-UK agreement but we are aware there is limited time to achieve it. Therefore, the transition period needs to be used as efficiently as possible in order to finalise, ratify and implement the agreement on EU-UK future relations. Brexit will not diminish the importance of EU-UK relations and we call on negotiators to work towards a comprehensive deal that will enable the EU and the UK to tackle together the many common future challenges.”

To contribute to the debate around the future relationship between the EU and the UK, BusinessEurope will publish a dedicated position paper shortly.