More could be done to comfort businesses, Brexit experts tell MPs

 
Hayley Kirton
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Businesses are worried what might become of them post-Brexit (Source: Getty)

Business could be offered more reassurance on their post-Brexit status than they have been, Brexit experts have told MPs today.

Speaking to the Exiting the European Union Committee, a trio of think tank representatives noted that, although political and corporate concerns in the run to the Brexit negotiations were very different, more could be done to put businesses' minds at rest over issues like access to the Single Market.

Shanker Singham, director of economic policy and prosperity studies at The Legatum Institute, remarked: "The issue that we have is the business cycle is diverging from the political cycle...it is important that comfort is given."

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Turning his attention to the finance sector, Singham added there were provisions in place, other than passporting rights, which the industry could use to carry on trading within the Single Market, albeit perhaps not in the exact manner firms may wish. Government could therefore offer some "comfort can be given to the City of London".

Stephen Booth, acting director and director of policy and research at Open Europe, noted that the EU would probably be keen to strike a mutually beneficial deal, while Singham added the EU had little to gain by pushing UK firms out and the financial business lost in the UK "is not going to Frankfurt of Paris, [it] is going to New York".

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Meanwhile, Dr Robin Niblett, director at Chatham House, hit back at the idea those negotiating on behalf of the EU would, or should, be happy to sign up to anything the UK offered, adding: "The EU is going to feel it is entitled to make sure it doesn't come off worse."

Niblett warned those entering the talks on behalf of the UK shouldn't fall into the trap of believing "the UK is going to come off better and the EU is going to have to lump it".

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