A series of recommendations for tackling Brexit, trade and migration have been published by the Institute of Directors (IoD).

The new Government “must get down to the details on international trade – both for Brexit and beyond”, it argues in a new paper on Global Business.

Proposed actions include assessing the potential impact of new domestic regulation on the UK’s trade with other countries, with draft legislation on digital tax to immediately be reviewed as part of this “trade sense check”.

Companies must also be given sufficient time to adjust to any new relationship with the EU before it comes into effect, the IoD insists, and the Government should make a commitment to publish negotiating objectives well in advance of all new trade talks.

If the EU Withdrawal Agreement is agreed by Parliament, then steps should be taken to ensure a smooth exit process, including protecting Northern Ireland’s place in the UK internal market and providing targeted financial support to SMEs for Brexit planning and adjustment.

Of just over 1000 survey respondents, nearly twice as many cited the terms and content of a final Brexit deal as being more important than the time taken to reach it (55% to 31%).

On immigration, the IoD wants better data, less bureaucracy – and confirmation that no net migration target will be introduced.

Commenting on the findings, the Institute’s Head of Europe and Trade Policy, Allie Renison, said: “We've heard much talk of the idea of 'Global Britain', with little focus so far on the concrete, bread-and-butter issues that are needed to deliver the UK's international ambitions. The ideas we lay out aim to bring the discussion back to basics of what business needs to safeguard and expand their international footprint — with the EU and beyond.”

The IoD’s proposals on Global Business can be found at www.iod.com.

Last reviewed 12 December 2019