Dominic Raab impresses business groups in first meeting as Brexit secretary

 
Catherine Neilan
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Dominic Raab was parachuted in yesterday after David Davis resigned (Source: Getty)

Dominic Raab has been given a tentative thumbs up by business groups after the new Brexit secretary stuck to a meeting this morning, which had been scheduled under his predecessor David Davis.

Business groups including the British Chambers of Commerce, Institute of Directors, Confederation of British Industry and manufacturers group EEF were among those who met with the new secretary of state this morning, less than 24 hours after he had been parachuted into the job.

Although it was too early to tell whether he was across the brief, or how disruptive the mini reshuffle would be, initial reactions were upbeat.

"It was really positive that a new Cabinet secretary kept a commitment with business leaders on his first full day in role," one attendee told City A.M. "That is an important statement of intent, in terms of willingness to meet with business and getting the right Brexit deal."

"The sense was very much one of pragmatism and being signed up to the Chequers approach," he added.

"It will take time to tell exactly how things will pan out, but all the signals were right... If this transition can be carried off successfully, and we can get working on the detail practical real-world questions, then it'll be fine."

Another source said there had been a "strong collaborative tone to the meeting" and a recognition of the "important role businesses can play in making the hard choices during negotiations".

"It was very positive," he added.

Stephen Martin, director general of the Institute of Directors, said: “It was encouraging to meet the new secretary of state within hours of his appointment, it demonstrates a commitment to engaging with the business community as we approach crunch time in these negotiations.

“The meeting was constructive and we are pleased he is keen to pursue a Brexit that is receptive to the needs of business.

“We are now keen to see the imminent white paper build on the Chequers statement, and look forward to working with the Brexit secretary as negotiations proceed with renewed impetus."

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