The UK has been urged to strike a transition deal with EU

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William Turvill For The Financial Mail On Sunday

The UK must strike a transition deal with the EU in 70 days, the CBI will warn tomorrow.

Failure to do so would force firms to trigger contingency plans – involving the loss of investment and jobs to rival nations – and a ‘no-deal scenario would be an act of great economic self-harm’, according to the lobbying group representing 190,000 companies.

In a speech Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, will say the UK needs to be in a ‘comprehensive’ customs union with the EU, avoiding tariffs.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, wants the UK to be in a ‘comprehensive’ customs union with the EU

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, wants the UK to be in a ‘comprehensive’ customs union with the EU

Calling for a transition deal by the beginning of April and for the outline of a final deal to be agreed by October, Fairbairn will add: ‘Time is running out – by March next year our country will be out of the EU.

‘Decisions must be taken fast, or firms will have no choice but to trigger their plan Bs. More jobs and investment will leave our shores and future generations will pay the price.’

She believes deals that replicate the EU’s agreements with Canada and Norway would not be good enough, saying: ‘Canada does less than ten per cent of its trade with the EU whereas the EU is our largest trading partner. Put simply, a Canada deal is an ocean away from what we need.’

 





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