Bosses of some of Europe’s biggest companies have urged Theresa May to extend the post-Brexit transition period after a meeting in Downing Street.
Members of the European Round Table of Industrialists were given an update on the talks with Brussels by the PM on Thursday – claiming she was confident a deal could soon be reached.
She also talked up her plan for post-Brexit trade with the EU – the so-called Chequers plan – as a way to ensure frictionless access the European markets.
But a statement issued by the group – which represents companies employing around 6.8million workers – flagged up serious concerns over the state of the talks.
It read: “A future EU/UK partnership must have uninterrupted and frictionless flow of goods, such as with a customs union, and create a stable and fair regulatory environment.
“Regulatory divergence is unhelpful and costly given the interdependence of the EU/UK supply chains. A longer transition period should be considered to avoid any unnecessary disruption.”
The PM has flagged extending the 21-month transition period – where the UK will continue to follow all EU rules – as a possible solution to Irish backstop issue which is currently stalling negotiations.