Britons taking European Union citizenship boomed in Brexit vote year

A flotilla of fishing boats leave South Shields Fish Quay near Newcastle in a protest organised by Campaign for an Independent Britain and Fishing for Leave

A flotilla of fishing boats leave South Shields Fish Quay near Newcastle in a protest organised by Campaign for an Independent Britain and Fishing for Leave

The CBI study, compiled over a six-month period, says Brexit presents opportunities for rule changes in sectors such as agriculture, shipping and tourism that could ultimately benefit the British economy and consumers.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says a future trade deal should bind the United Kingdom to EU standards permanently.

The figures are likely to trigger further calls on Theresa May to take a tougher approach to post-Brexit immigration amid fears she is preparing to offer preferential treatment to European Union citizens.

She added that lawmakers must ensure "ongoing convergence" as well as alignment in rules which are "fundamental" to the trade or transport of goods between the United Kingdom and EU. But as the CBI's latest intervention makes clear, with less than a year to go many key energy and climate-related issues remain unresolved and business leaders are becoming increasingly vocal in their calls for long term clarity.

She said: "Despite the worries about growth prospects, the lack of clarity about the final deal, and the speculation about the future of the financial services industry, the sector is upbeat about its growth prospects and long-term future". Those views are supported by the CBI's findings.


"Deviation from rules in one sector will have a knock-on effect on businesses in others, and divergence from rules in one part of a production process will have consequences for market access throughout entire supply chains".

A sector-by-sector summary of rules and regulations desired by businesses as part of the CBI's extensive consultation can be found at the start of the report.

The influential business body, which represents 190,000 firms, will today argue efforts to deliver on the United Kingdom and EU's shared goal of securing an affordable and clean energy supply will be best served by continued close co-operation on energy and climate matters.

The two sides should broker mechanisms giving both parties influence over rules and allowing for enforcement of those regulations.

You don't have to buy Russian conspiracy theories, which paint last month's nerve agent attack as a cynical United Kingdom government ploy to divert attention away from Brexit, to see that the focus of public debate has shifted since it took place. To improve our already impressive record of working together in business, we need to make it even easier for United Kingdom and South African companies to operate in each other's markets, to overcome any regulatory barriers that make trade more expensive.

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