Ann Francke calls for clarity on Brexit negotiations in wake of Queen’s speech
CMI’s CEO says more details are needed, especially around the future of EU nationals in BritainMatt Scott
Ann Francke has said the government needs to provide more clarity on its plans for the UK post-Brexit following today’s Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament.
There were eight proposed bills relating to Brexit in the speech announced by the Queen, but Francke said they were all too vague and lacked the finer details that British business needs.
One key area of the speech that Francke said urgently needed clarifying concerned the future of EU nationals currently residing in the UK, which the Queen said would become “subject to UK laws”.
“What does that mean?” Francke asked. “Can they keep their jobs? Do they have to become a UK citizen or go home?
“The right for EU nationals to stay in the UK is incredibly important and was very high up on the list of priorities when we surveyed our members – it came in at number two – and this just does not give clarity on that. This is one of the biggest issues, and it has just not been covered thoroughly enough.
“We need a detailed investigation into the need we have for different numbers of skilled workers in different sectors of British business and how long it will take to generate homegrown talent, and this is absent from today’s speech.”
“These are the questions that people need answered by the new government,” she added.
Now is the Time for Collaborative Action
Francke said that while she welcomed the positive sentiment of the speech, as well as commitments such as doing more to tackle the gender pay gap and workplace discrimination and investing more into skills and infrastructure, she urged the government to adopt a more collaborative approach to negotiations and policy-making, integrating business leaders as well as opposition parties into the process to lay down the foundations for a successful Britain post-Brexit.
“It is very important that the other parties and the public sector are engaged and involved in some of these very important decisions,” she said. “The Brexit negotiations will have consequences for generations to come, and will determine the success of British business on a global scale.
“The Queen announced new bills aimed at reaching trade agreements with both EU and non-EU countries, and if this is to result in a new global Britain, then these deals should be top of the list.”
“We just have to get this right,” she added, “and cross-party, cross-business collaboration is vital in achieving that.”