As the uncertainty of Brexit lingers on, the UK risks losing jobs and investment (warns Britains five biggest business lobby groups).
In a letter issued to Brexit Secretary David Davis, the groups state that “time is running out”.
The other lobby groups backing the letter are the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, and the EEF manufacturers’ body.
Theresa May has suggested a transition period of about two years.
EU negotiators have agreed to start preliminary work on a future relationship. However, they still want more concessions on the UK’s so-called “divorce payment” before starting talks on trade and transition.
The five business bodies – which together represent firms employing millions of people – are calling for more urgency. With less than a year and a half left until the UK leaves the EU, this is vital.
Concern about the loss of UK jobs and investment was underlined last week when the head of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, tweeted that he will be “spending a lot more time” in Frankfurt.
All of this comes at the worst time for the UK. Unemployment fell again by 52,000 in the three months to August to 1.4 million. Therefore, the jobless rate remains unchanged at 4.3% from the previous quarter.
Mrs May is due to address the commons on the progress of Brexit negotiations later this week.