Businesses respond to EU reform deal

Business leaders have commented on the prime minister’s reform deal and on the future of the UK’s relationship with the European Union (EU).

The referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU takes place on 23 June 2016. Key points from the reform deal include:

  • protecting British economic interests and currency
  • protecting businesses from discrimination outside the EU
  • making Europe more competitive for creating jobs and improving financial security
  • business access to trading and finance through the free-trade single market
  • reducing costs of EU red tape for small businesses.

Reaction to the deal 

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said:

"These reforms protect the UK’s place and influence inside this important market and a renewed focus on EU competitiveness will help British firms succeed in creating jobs and economic growth at home in the years ahead. Firms will particularly welcome a commitment to reduce unnecessary regulation.”

However British Chambers of Commerce director John Longworth questioned the certainty of the deal:

"There is no certainty at this stage whether the deal’s outcomes are legally enforceable and irreversible. What’s more, the deal falls well short of the business expectations we set out nearly a year ago”

Mike Cherry, policy director for the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“Small firms seek measures to boost cross-border trade and economic growth - the completion of the single market, simplification of VAT, a smarter approach to regulation and protection of the opt-out under the Working Time Directive.”

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