Our Letter to the Prime Minister on a Trade Deal with the EU

Dear Prime Minister,

Today marks the point of no return for needing to agree an EU trade deal and prepare the country for that by the end of this year. That focuses the mind, and we assume that is your hope, to put pressure on such a deal being found.

It is however also a huge gamble. With the coronavirus pandemic having created an enormous economic shock across the UK and around the world. With just six months to go, to the end of the Brexit transition period in December, a no-deal outcome would be hugely damaging to the UK economy. Resulting in more people out of work and lower living standards.

The Government’s own analysis suggests that the downside of a no-deal exit, compared to continuing with our current arrangements, would be approximately 8% of GDP in 15 years’ time – perhaps more. We are now witnessing increasing global trade tensions, and a sharp focus on localising of supply chains, that will make promised trade with the USA, China and others more difficult. This will make even the most optimistic upside from global trade of 0.7% of GDP in 15 years less likely.

To minimise the downsides, it is vital that the UK achieves the best possible trading arrangements with the EU and other countries. We are calling for these trading arrangements to uphold the common high standards currently applicable on both sides in the areas of state aid, social and employment standards, environment, climate change and tax.

Continued alignment with the key EU regulatory bodies that allow free flow of products in such areas as pharmaceutical, medical, and chemical supplies is also essential to keep nontariff barriers to a minimum. The UK’s financial services businesses also urgently need assurance of an equivalence agreement with the EU that is broader than the traditional arrangements and gives them much greater certainty.

In addition, businesses simply do not have time or capacity to prepare for big changes in trading rules by the end of the year – especially given that we are already grappling with the

upheaval caused by coronavirus. Securing deals that match the current arrangements as closely as possible is therefore even more essential to make those adjustments easier. We are therefore calling on you to ensure full transparency over the substance of these negotiations and these deals, to enable proper assessment of the potential economic consequences and through that assure us that the economic downside on our businesses can be minimised.

If, despite the warnings from business and others, the Government pushes ahead with nodeal or a bad deal at the end this year, it will create a further economic shock and cost people’s jobs, which we desperately want to avoid, especially at this point when our businesses need to be focused on recovering from the coronavirus crisis.

Yours sincerely,

Signed by 110 small to medium sized businesses, entrepreneurs and business associations with significant experience of trading with the EU. We are all proud to create significant value for the UK economy and our interest is to continue doing so

Dan Aherne, New England Seafood International, CEO

Rob Arnot Cavagna Group UK Ltd Managing Director

Tony Bannan, Precision Technologies Group (PTG) Limited, CEO

Shaun Bennett, Paragon Inks (Holdings) Ltd, Managing Director

Mike Berry, BGS International Limited, Managing Director

Adrian Binks, Argus Media Group, Chairman & Chief Executive

Bob Bischof, German British Forum, Chairman

Michael Bischof, Pentagon Sports (Cheshire) ltd, Managing Director

Tom Bowtell, British Coatings Federation, CEO

Alan Breeze, Breeze & Associates Ltd, Director

Nick Brooks, 4CM Ltd, Managing Director

Peter Brown, Neill & Brown Global Logistics Group Ltd, CEO

David Brown, Neida Ltd, CEO

Stephen Bulmer, Biesse Group UK Limited. CEO

Marcus Burton MBE, Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd, Non-Executive Director

Roy Butler, Butlers of Kent, Director

Alan Carradice, The White Sea & Baltic Company Ltd, Managing Director

Sandy Chen, Graphene Composites, CEO

Alex Chesterman, Cazoo, Founder & CEO

Martin F Cicognani, Richard Baker Harrison Ltd, Managing Director

Andrew Clarke, Centre Colours Ltd, Director

Sir Cary L. Cooper, signing in personal capacity

Tim Cotterill, James Lister and Sons Limited, Chairman

Tim Cowen, Antitrust Practice, Chair

Barry Crompton, Abrasive Finishing Systems Ltd, Managing Director

Simon Curtis, Haynes and Boone LLP London, Senior Counsel

Ellen Daniels, British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA). CEO

Tim Darch, Quick Grind Limited, Commercial Manager

Yves de Contandes, The Excellence Group, Managing Director

Emma Degg, North West Business Leadership Team, CEO

Dinesh Dhamija, Ebookers, Founder and former CEO

Andrew Dixon, ARC InterCapital, CEO

Richard Duncalf, Hervia Group. Chairman

Geoff Eaton, Butcher’s Pet Care Ltd, Chairman

Stephen Foster, Vickers Laboratories Ltd, Managing Director

James Fudge, MTA, Hd of Events & Members Services,

Tim M Gibbons, SPARKFORD Chemicals Ltd, Managing Director

Kevin Gilbert, Mills CNC Ltd, Managing Director

Richard Gilkes, Stort Chemicals Ltd, Managing Director

Stephen Gosling, Adams Aviation Supply Co Ltd, Former CEO

Keith Gould, Gelpke & Bate Ltd, Director

Carol Hagh, Old Game New Rules, Founder

Peter Harding, Advanced Grinding Supplies Limited, Managing Director

Kim Hicks, Sawcraft UK Ltd, Company Secretary

Lisa Hipgrave, IFRAUK, Trade Association Director

Jason Hornsby, Navigator Terminals UK Limited, CEO

Dermott Hughes, Western AS Ltd, Managing Director

Kate Humphrey, TAMS UK LTD, Managing Director

Edward James, Citizen Machinery UK Limited, Managing Director

Simon Jordon, SCHÜTZ (UK) Ltd, General Manager

Hiroshi Kawai, Fujichem Sonneborn Limited, CFO

Daniel Kaye, Hawks Chemical, Director

Julian Kear, Phase 3 CNC / Spindle Revolution Ltd, Managing Director

Ted Kennedy, Pebble Hotels, Chairman

Caroline Kenyon, The Food Awards Company, Director

Mottie Kessler, 2M Holdings Ltd, Chairman & CEO

Donna Kifford. Dakram Materials Ltd. Sales & Quality Assurance

Ewan Kirk, Cantab Capital Partners, Founder and CIO

Alan Looney, Natchemco UK Ltd, Managing Director

Martyn Lyons, Inter Terminals, CEO

Juergen Maier CBE, Siemens UK, Former CEO

Tilly McAuliffe, Think Publishing and & Wanderlust Publications, Owner

Sarah McCartney, 4160 Tuesdays Ltd, CEO

Becket McGrath, Solicitor

Jim Mercer, BOC Limited, Executive Director, Ops

Matthias Meyer, Heller Machine Tools UK, Managing Director

Bob Milton, Tapfreight Ltd, Managing Director

Kate Mingay, Dakram Materials Ltd, Managing Director

Dr Simon Murdoch, Episode 1 Ventures, Managing Partner

Matt Neale, Tessiant, Managing Partner

Peter Newport, Chemical Business Organisation, Chief Executive

Michael O’Mara, Michael O’Mara Books, Chairman

Rafe Offer, Sofar Sounds, Founder and Chair

Mark Peers, Supply Point Systems Ltd, President

Mark Petterson, Signing in personal capacity, Company Founder and Director

Neville Prior, Cornelius Group plc, Chairman

Vicky Pryce, Former joint head of the government economic service

Martin Rimmer, Masterclass Group, CEO

Henry Ritchotte, RitMir Ventures, Founder

Martyn J Round, H S Richards Ltd, Managing Director

Beate Ruebig, Fronius UK Ltd, Managing Director

Alister Scott, The One Leadership Project, Co-Founder

Lee Scott, Starrag UK Ltd. Director

Ian Seager, Seager Publishing Ltd, Owner

Kevin Sefton, Untied, CEO

James Selka, Manufacturing Technologies Association, CEO

Howard Sellers, signing in personal capacity

Jonathan Sellers, A-Gas Electronic Materials, Managing Director

Geeta Sidhu-Robb, Nosh Detox Delivery Ltd, CEO

Janis Sinton, TasteTech Ltd, Managing Director

James Smith, Kalsec Europe Limited. Managing Director

James Stansfield, Filtermist International, CEO

John Stapleton, New Covent Garden Soup Co & Little Dish, Co-Founder

Martin Steele, Safapac Holdings Ltd, Chairman

Mike Stein, Valo Therapeutics Ltd, CEO

Philip Tarleton, Meade-King, Robinson & Co. Ltd, Managing Director

Graham Tattam, Siegwerk (UK) Ltd, Sales Manager UK & IRL

Jessica Taylor, Chantry Chemicals Ltd, Business Ops Director

Andy Toms, TML Laser, Director

Stephen Totty, Star Micronics GB Limited, Managing Director

Peter Tresadern, INX International UK Ltd, Managing Director

Ernst Wagner, Kasto Limited UK, Managing Director

Ylva Wahlberg, Ostling Etchmark Ltd, Director

Kenton Ward, LIVE IT Group Ltd, CEO

Phil Wedgewood, Engage Solutions, CEO

David Wilkins, Kaltenbach Ltd, Managing Director

John Wills, Tyrolit ltd, Managing Director

Margaret Wood MBE, ICW (UK) LTD, Chair

Steve Woollven, Reliance Precision Ltd, Managing Director

Ian Wrigglesworth, Durham Group, Chairman

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