‘Getting Brexit Done’ is just the start…says UKWA CEO Peter Ward

November 12, 2019

As the election gains momentum, UKWA CEO Peter Ward warns that the government’s ‘Let’s Get Brexit Done’ message is deeply misleading. Although the Association fully supported the  ‘Get Ready For Brexit’ campaign in the lead up to 31st October, the process of leaving the European Union will be anything but simple for the UK’s business community, he says.

“‘Get Brexit Done’, the much-used phrase of the Prime Minister has become a mantra central to the election campaign. However, although an effective soundbite politically, closer scrutiny reveals that the idea of ‘Getting Brexit Done’ by passing a Withdrawal Agreement is deeply misleading.

Getting Brexit done implies an end point, a drawing of a line under a long and painful process. In some ways this couldn’t be further from the truth. What it really means is ratifying an agreement which will signify the beginning of intensive and extensive negotiations to implement wide-ranging changes that could well take years to complete. In short, this is the start and not the end of Brexit.

Securing a Withdrawal Agreement that is acceptable both to the EU nations and to the UK Parliament without doubt will be an important milestone in the process, helping to avoid for now the ‘cliff-edge’ of ‘no-deal Brexit’ and taking us into the Transition Period.  But it tells little about the future relationship between UK and the European Union. Not until we know the nature and timing of that future relationship – and the processes for managing it – will the Business world have the much-needed forward certainty it craves.”

read full comment>