Brexit: CBI welcomes Johnson's 'great new deal'

The CBI has welcomed, if tentatively, the news that the UK and the EU have reached a deal.

Director-general of the business group, Carolyn Fairbairn said: "If agreed by parliament, this deal unlocks a transition period, guarantees rights of the 4 million citizens living abroad in the UK and EU, and opens a pathway to a new EU/UK partnership. It would keep trade flowing freely across the island of Ireland and, most importantly, avoid a damaging no deal scenario."

Fairbairn voiced serious concerns about the direction of the future UK-EU relationship, however.

“Frictionless EU trade and regulatory alignment is vital for UK prosperity and jobs. The deal remains inadequate on services, which make up 80% of the UK economy. And big questions remain about the feasibility of negotiating a new trade agreement deep enough in a 14-month transition period," she said.

Whilst a deal has been done, it still needs to be approved in parliament..

“If this deal does pass parliament, firms will do everything possible to make it work for communities across the UK," Fairbairn added.

This Association of British Insurers echoed her view. Director-general of the ABI, Huw Evans said: “This agreement is a positive sign, but the key test is whether Parliament will vote for it. It is important that however we leave the EU, we do so in an orderly way that provides certainty for business, consumers and our world-leading insurance and long-term savings industry.

"Then we can move on to the important question of what a constructive future relationship with the EU looks like, that avoids the UK becoming a permanent rule-taker.”

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