European business groups to sign Brexit petition in City Hall today

Mark Sands
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The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June. (Source: Getty)

Business leaders from across Europe will come together in London today to call for EU leaders to support continued trade between the UK and the continent after Brexit

Representatives from 10 European cities will meet in City Hall to demand transition periods, minimise trade barriers and ensure access to workers on either side of the Channel.

A declaration agreed by members of the Alliance of European Metropolitan Chambers warns that a so-called Hard Brexit “could pose significant risk to job creation and wealth production in the UK, the EU and wider Europe.”

Signatories will include business chambers from Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and Frankfurt.

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The key demand is for a “realistic transition period for Brexit”.

“Such a transition period would creat sufficient space for European business and European governments to adjust to a new situation,” the AEMC said.

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Colin Stanbridge said: “We are all in a unique political situation, cities across Europe are anxious about the future post-Brexit.

“Today is an opportunity to look to air and address those concerns. We have always an enjoyed working alongside our European Chamber colleagues, but now is a chance to solidify those relationships and ensure we have an even stronger partnership moving forward.”

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Brexit minister Lord Bridges welcomed the declaration from the city chambers as “an excellent initiative”.

“It is great to see businesses working together to seize the opportunities that will arise from our European Union departure,” he said.

“We are seeking an agreement that will give UK companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets and allow European businesses to do the same across the UK.”

“And we will continue to engage with businesses across London, the UK and Europe on important issues such as trade, migration and transport as we enter into negotiations.”

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