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FTA: Brexit Process Must Prevent Major Business Disruption in the EU


29 Mar 2017


UK in Europe
Trade & Society

Brussels, 29 March 2017. Today, the British government will activate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to formally launch the negotiations which will determine the conditions of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. The Foreign Trade Association (FTA) is pushing for a sound strategy to mitigate negative impacts, promote possible opportunities and effectively represent the interest of its members. “The upcoming talks should be conducted in a spirit of fairness, trust and partnership to make sure the negotiations advance quickly, create legal clarity soon and prevent major business disruption”, says Christian Ewert, FTA Director General.

Brexit has plunged the EU into a time of significant uncertainty given that it is the first time that a member state has opted to leave the Union, and therefore, many questions remain to be answered. Despite this high level of uncertainty, Brexit clearly has the potential of having a considerable – negative – effect on the business sector:

·         Tariffs and border checks are very likely to be imposed in the future bilateral trade relations;

·         Brexit might negatively impact economic growth – and consequently consumption – in the UK, the EU and the world;

·         The EU will lose a liberal voice and we might see a shift towards a more ‘defensive’ EU trade policy;

·         Brexit is a severe setback for the European integration process and pressure is high to reduce the influence of the EU, potentially leading to more market fragmentation.

 To limit the impact of this process, Mr. Ewert underlines the priorities of the international trade sector in these divorce talks: “We need to invent a magic formula which will guarantee the highest possible level of market integration while avoiding a domino effect triggering similar leave requests from other EU member states. At the same time, we need to leave the door open for the British government to exit Brexit, as the political mood in the UK might change again.”

FTA will remain an active advocate for a smart Brexit process that safeguards open markets and business interests, against the current protectionist trends gaining ground in Europe and abroad.


- ENDS -


Ana María Martín
FTA Media and Editorial Planning Coordinator
Tel: +32 2 739 48 22
Twitter: @fta_intl

The Foreign Trade Association (FTA) is the leading business association of global commerce that promotes the values of international trade and sustainable supply chains. Uniting over 1,900 retailers, importers, brands and national associations, FTA improves the political and legal framework for trade in a sustainable way. FTA provides the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) to support participants to improve working conditions in factories and farms where they source from. Moreover, the association also provides the Business Environmental Performance Initiative (BEPI) to facilitate improved environmental performance in supplying factories worldwide.