Stephen Martin: Businesses Need a Brexit Breakthrough By Early 2018

Photo via Director magazine

The head of the Institute of Directors (IoD) said that the government must finalise a Brexit transition deal by the end of the first quarter of next year before businesses implement their “no deal”contingency plans.

Talking at the annual dinner of the lobby group tonight, Stephen Martin, the IoD director general, is expected to say that businesses are “concerned about what happens if a breakthrough isn’t made at the next round of talks in December.”

Martin will state: “It’s as simple as this – we are now only 16 months away from leaving the EU. We need the discussion to move on to our future trading relationship and, critically, what happens when the Article 50 timeline runs out in early 2019.”

However, he is set to praise members of the IoD for their “determination” in preparing for every eventuality of Brexit, stating that businesses have upheld their end of the bargain and now politicians are required to “deliver” for them.

Martin will add: “We support the Government’s intention to agree a transitional period after March 2019, to provide time for both companies and the public sector to adjust to new arrangements on customs, regulations and much else.

“We need to know this implementation phase will, in effect, keep the terms of cross-border trade unchanged, so that business can get back to making crucial investment decisions that are facing a chill at the moment.”