Finally: Theresa May has formed a council to give businesses a voice on Brexit

 
Emma Haslett
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Behind The Scenes At The Bristol Airbus Factory
The EEF is among business groups expected to take part (Source: Getty)

Businesses will be given a voice in Brexit negotiations after the Prime Minister agreed to form a council composed of business lobbying organisations and top ministers, reports suggested today.

The council will be composed of bosses from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), manufacturers' group the EEF, the Institute of Directors (IoD), the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), as well as Brexit secretary David Davis and business secretary Greg Clark, the Sunday Times reported.

The news follows hints of a softening stance on a so-called hard Brexit after a disappointing result in the General Election for Theresa May.

Business groups have consistently warned against a hard Brexit, under which the UK would be forced to trade under World Trade Organisation rules, with exporters slapped with tariffs of up to 32 per cent on products such as wine.

May had originally said "no deal" with the EU was better than a bad deal. However, her failure to win a majority in parliament has been seen as a criticism of the hard Brexit agenda.

Earlier this week the Chancellor threw his weight behind plans for a transitional period of up to four years after negotiations with EU conclude in order to avoid a "Brexit cliff edge".

In an interview today, Davis said that period was more likely to be "one or two years".

Read more: UK "will plunge into three year recession" if there is no Brexit transition

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