The Voice of European Business Must Be Heard Loud and Clear by Brexit Negotiators


Anne-Marie Martin

About Anne-Marie Martin

Anne-Marie Martin is Chief Executive of the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE), a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a visiting university lecturer on PR and marketing related topics. She is an experienced professional business executive. She has worked in the industrial and not for profit sectors over many years, specialising in the strategic, commercial and operational levels of organisations. In 2008 she was awarded the King Mihai 1 of Romania Medal for Loyalty. Twitter: @amnmartin

We are now potentially only weeks away from the triggering of Article 50. This all-important section of the Lisbon Treaty sets out the process by which a member country can leave the EU. No country has ever left the EU before and some experts are predicting a ten-year timeframe to negotiate a new trade deal: In this case, the UK Government has its work cut out for it if it is to complete Brexit negotiations within the two years stipulated by Article 50.

The type of agreement that the UK is aiming for was made clear on the 17th of January 2017 in a speech by Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister. Choosing to pursue a purely economic, rather than a political relationship with the EU, Mrs May outlined what has been colloquially referred to as a ‘hard Brexit’ which will not, as we understand it, include membership of the Single Market or the Custom’s Union, but which will be based on ongoing common interests.

So what are those common interests exactly? It is now absolutely crucial to define them in terms of business arrangements.

Over the past 40 years, business relationships have become very complex. Gone are the days when manufacturers made entire products in a single factory or location. With increasing sophistication and specialist suppliers, components come from many different places. Indeed, most business relationships are now comprised of complex, interwoven webs of both products and services. Added to this are the complexities of the services sector which accounts for roughly 80 per cent of the UK economy.

From the financial markets in London, which serve Europe and the wider world, to education, retail, tourism and professional services; all sectors face potential risks from Brexit. This interconnectedness not only affects our common interests but it means that, of course, if any economic shocks are caused by a failure to secure a reasonable agreement, they will be felt not just within the UK and the EU but also in the surrounding economies, such as Ukraine and around the globe.

At COBCOE, we are working to ensure an economically stable outcome to the Brexit process. For this to happen, the voice of European business must be heard loud and clear – not just in the UK but also in Brussels and capitals around Europe.

By identifying the areas of common interest between the EU27 and the UK, we are hoping that those areas can be protected as part of the UK’s withdrawal agreement. We are also working to identify the steps that will allow the UK’s withdrawal process to proceed with the minimum disruption to business.

Qualitative research is now taking place across the region, throughout our network of member chambers of commerce and other partners. The primary audience for this research will be the UK Government, national governments and the European Commission. In the interests of transparency and the integrity of the project, the reports of our findings will also be released to political groups within the European Parliament, business communities and the media.


The report will be launched in London during the Brexit Ambition Conference on 22 June 2017.


International Women’s Day — Let’s Take Action And Then Celebrate

How Will Poland Approach the Brexit Negotiations?

Measuring Growth of Societies with GDP Alone Shows an Incomplete Picture

Could the West At Least Help Ukraine To Insure FDI Against Political Risks?

Are Labour Shortages Driving Economic Growth?

The Sharing Economy Could Bring New Business Models to CEE

Business Moving Forward with Cautious Optimism — Can Investors Win the Confidence Game?

CEE — Do We Need a Launch Pad For Our On-Site Tech Intelligence in the Silicon Valley

China: A Giant That Is Hard to Crack

United or Divided? Europe in the Face of the Challenges of Tomorrow

The EU’s Choice: Fundamental Reform Or Disintegration

We, the Post-Communist Generation, Have the Skills to Rid of the Past And Create Our Own Future

Poland’s Unicorn, Slovakia’s Flying Car and the Future of Europe

Let’s Stop Wasting Time Redefining our Place in Europe

The Capital Markets Union: a New Beginning in the European Financial Sector?

A Positive and Modern View of Entrepreneurship

Poland’s Confusing GDP Growth

Not All Quiet on the Eastern Front

Breaking With Imitations of the Past

The EU’s Benign Neglect Of Eastern Europe

Old Fashioned Skulduggery Overshadows the Elections in Moldova

Resignation in Ukraine: War, Revolution, Crisis — Some Things Never Change

After 25 Years of Restructuring, the Romanian Power Sector Is at a Crossroad

The Right to Water: Who Can Change Today’s Situation?

A Bosnian Referendum Shows Russia’s Influence in the Balkans—As Well As Its Limits

Global Expansion in the Digital Age

Big Fish, Small Fish, Where to Fish? On the Eve of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Czech Republic Renaming Has Real Economic Costs

Examining How a Strong Swiss Franc Could Single-Handedly Topple Poland’s Economy

Finalising the DCFTA is Expected to Bring Multiple Benefits to Ukraine

The CEE Region Is Making Advances in Prioritising Waste-to-Energy Projects

Changing Perspectives and Showing That True Romania is a Vibrant Innovative Country

Will a Two-speed European Union Side-line the Visegrad Four?

Outsourcing in Germany: Stop Talking at and Start Talking to

Are There Differences Between How Tax Regulations in Poland and IAS Treat Intangible Assets?

Prepare for a New Europe

People Power Reminds the Government of the Rule of Law

Belarus 2020: Turning the Vicious Circle Into an Upward Spiral

Brexit: Let’s Learn the Lesson and Hope a Better Europe Will Arise

Falling into Old Ways in 2017? Ukraine’s Struggle for Functioning Economic Institutions

The Competitive Edge in Central and Eastern Europe

SOFIA BULGARIA - MAY 5: View of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre in Sofia on May 5 2016. Sofia is the largest city and capital of Bulgaria.

Romania Surviving the Waves of Recent Political Tsunamis in Europe

Polish Tax Laws — Fighting a Winning Battle Against Tax Evaders

The Morawiecki Plan Promises a Brighter Future for Poland

Europe Needs To Be More Proactive In Embracing Armenia

The GREAT London Food Scene

Bakery in London

The Global Outsourcing Industry — the Rise of the Phoenix

A New Division Between Eastern And Western Europe?

LGBT in CEE — A New Acceptance Is Being Born From Migration

Poland: Is it Ready, and is it Time to Adopt the Euro?

Will the New Five-day Visa-free Regime Encourage More Visitors to Belarus?

Where’s My Cheese? – The GREAT British Food Tour 2014

Cheese Shop

January Kicks Off an Exciting Year for Emerging Europe

Europe at Odds over OPAL and Nord Stream 2

The Long Tail of Global Expansion

Ukraine’s Reputation for Cheap Labour May Not Ring True in the Long-term

The Netherlands’ Objection to the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement could be Costly to Europe

Fiscal Policy Predictability in CEE — It’s Time for Change

Central and Eastern European Consumers Are Joining the Global Trends for Change

History as Destiny? Institutional Erosion in Ukraine and Poland

European Volatility Makes Economic Development Slower for Ukraine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *