UK Businesses Cautiously Optimistic About Brexit Deal

15th November 2018

"This has to be used as a route to a final deal with frictionless trade and access for services," the Confederation of British Industry said.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has reacted with measured optimism to Cabinet backing a draft withdrawal Brexit deal, saying that that a "no deal" Brexit can now be avoided.

"We know that millions and millions of pounds has been spent on contingency planning - if this agreement continues, the button can be unpressed," the CBI's director-general Carolyn Fairbairn told BBC4’s Today programme.

She says that businesses would have wanted to see "a lot more certainty" about trade with the EU and there is some disappointment. However, on the whole, the outlook is positive.

"There's a world of opportunities out there for the UK, and now we can get beyond it. Most of the real opportunities we have are right here on our doorstep. This pulls us back from the cliff edge and we can move forward...but it's not the end of the road," Ms Fairbairn said.

"This has to be used as a route to a final deal with frictionless trade and access for services."

Prime Minister Theresa May secured her cabinet's backing for the deal after a five-hour meeting, although several ministers are understood to have spoken against it.

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