Small businesses to be given a voice in May’s Brexit negotiations

An advisory group of large business organisations, including the Federation of Small Businesses, has been formed to give business issues priority in Brexit

An advisory group consisting of the UK’s most important business organisations, including the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), has been set up by the government to ensure that business-related issues are given priority in upcoming Brexit negotiations.

Representatives from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the British Chambers of Commerce, the Institute of Directors and the Manufacturers’ Organisation (EEF) will also be joining the group.

The group, which was formed on the day after the general election by Brexit secretary David Davis and business industry minister Greg Clark, has been created with the goal of giving UK companies, including small businesses and start-ups, a say in Brexit.

While Clark has reportedly been meeting regularly with organisations such as the FSB, the formation of the group secures the small businesses community’s formal representation in the process.

Following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016, many of the country’s small business owners have expressed uncertainty over what Brexit will mean for their business, with Prime Minister Theresa May disbanding the previous business group which advised David Cameron.

The new group is expected to provide reassurance to the small business and start-up community through its remit to ensure that the concerns and interests of UK businesses are explored as negotiations take place.

The group also hopes to reassure those who are concerned by the potential of a hard Brexit agreement.

This news comes at the same time as the government’s announcement that entrepreneurs and workers from the EU who have lived in the UK for five years or longer will be able to apply for permanent residency or “settled status” in the country post-Brexit.

Stephen Martin, director-general at the Institute of Directors, commented:

“A good Brexit outcome is one that puts the economy, jobs and prosperity right at the centre of the negotiations, so we whole-heartedly welcome the formation of this advisory group by the government.”

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