Responding to today’s European Council conclusions, William Bain, Policy Advisor – Europe and International at the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said:
“We welcome signs of some progress in moving the Article 50 negotiations along based on today’s European Council conclusions. It is in the interests of both the UK and EU-27 to avoid a No- Deal Brexit which would raise prices for consumers and damage choice, quality, and the range of goods retailers offer their customers. The best outcome would be a set of standstill transitional arrangements which allows current trading conditions to continue from March 2019, to keep goods flowing between the UK and other European markets. During this period, agreement on the final trading relationship between the UK and the EU can be reached and preparations made for its implementation.
“Retailers and consumers would lose out from a Brexit of cliff edges. If there are to be changes in our trading relationships, retail wants to implement one set of changes only, after transition. That is in the best interests of both business and consumers.”