Commenting on the agreement between the UK and EU for a transition period, Alex Davies, Research Analyst at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said:
“Businesses will, on the whole, welcome the news that the UK government and the EU have agreed a stand-still transition phase. Whilst this still needs full legal implementation, the political commitment to this period is firm and was emphasised as an important step from both sides. Businesses can now continue in the knowledge that the UK’s relationship with the EU will not change until 1 January 2021, with all aspects – including access to third country trade deals – will remain as now.
“However, government must not rest on its laurels: this is an important step forward, but only moves the date beyond which uncertainty may prevail from one year’s time to 21 months’ time: clarity over the future relationship in 2021 and beyond must be sought as quickly as possible, and politicians must ensure that pragmatism and stability prevail over short-term political narratives, and that replacing existing deals with the EU and other countries must be prioritised over establishing new relationships. Business will also want to see clarity over the UK’s future migration policy as access to skills will remain a priority beyond the current negotiations.”