61 business leaders, trade experts and parliamentarians have published a letter in response to recent reports in the media around the UK diverging from the standards and protections of the EU.
The letter, which Best for Britain helped coordinate, was led by Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce Paul Drechsler and expresses support for a policy of ‘beneficial alignment’ with EU standards as recommended by the UK Trade and Business Commission in its landmark report in May.
Paul Drechsler, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce said,
“Less friction means more trade and so it’s just common sense to start from a point of beneficial alignment.
“Our aim should be common rules and high standards for global trade to increase certainty and reduce costs, while providing the public with democratic accountability by giving the UK Parliament and devolved administrations a meaningful role in scrutinising and approving trade policy.”
Peter Norris, Chairman of Virgin Group and member of the cross-party UK Trade and Business Commission said,
“Leaving the single market has already increased costs for businesses and consumers, and further divergence will only hike prices further during a cost of living crisis
“As recommended by our commission, aligning with high EU standards and protections where beneficial is not only good for UK businesses, but for consumers, workers and the environment too.”
The letter, published in the Guardian, in full reads:
With an election looming, business leaders across the UK will have paid close attention to recent comments in the media regarding alignment with EU standards and regulations.
In the wake of the UK’s departure from the EU and recent attempts to force divergence unilaterally in the UK, many businesses, business leaders and business organisations would welcome a policy of alignment with EU standards and regulations, unless it is explicitly not in the UK’s interests to do so.
Such a policy of ‘beneficial alignment’, as proposed by the UK Trade and Business Commission, would enable businesses and investors to have confidence in the UK’s regulatory foundations, while still allowing the UK to maintain its own regulatory autonomy.
By taking this approach, any future UK Government will be able to reassure businesses and investors, both domestically and internationally, that the UK is committed to maintaining high standards and protections, strong relationships with its trading partners, while also protecting the interests of UK businesses.
Peter Norris, Co-convenor, UK Trade and Business Commission, Chair, Virgin Group
Paul Drechsler, CBE Chairman International Chamber of Commerce
Naomi Smith, Founder Trade Unlocked
Juergen Maier, CBE Vice chair Northern Powerhouse Partnership
Emma Degg, Chief Executive North West Business Leadership Team
Alison Williams, Global Data Protection Officer, Dunnhumby
Kim Darroch, Former Diplomat, Consultant
Stephen Farry MP, Member of Parliament
Hywel Williams MP, Arfon Member of Parliament
Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Member of Parliament
Charles Owen, Managing Director, Seasonal Businesses in Travel & European Pubs
James Smith, Owner, Loddington Farm Ltd
Jack Semple, Alliance Secretary, Engineering and Machinery Alliance
Simon Jeffreys, Chief Executive Designers Guild Group Limited
Professor Paul Ekins OBE, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy, UCL
Professor Graeme, Atherton Head Centre for Inequality and Levelling Up
John Horner, British Fashion Model Agents
Liz Webster, Chair, Save British Farming
Jon Collins, CEO, LIVE
Zita Holbourne, FRSA Multidisciplinary Artist, Author and Human Rights campaigner
Charles Baughan, Managing Director, Westaway Sausages Ltd
Roland Hemming, Consultant and Chair of a British Standards Committee
Naomi Pohl, General Secretary, Musicians' Union
Nick Allen, CEO, British Meat Processors Association
Peter Hardwick, Trade Policy Adviser, British Meat Processors Association
Stephen Taylor, MD, Winterwood Farms Ltd.
Francis Toye, CEO & Founder, the Unilink Group
Dr Nick Mann, NHS Doctor
V M Whitbread, Founder
Sarah McCartney, CEO, 4160Tuesdays Ltd
Dr Dave Seaward, Founder, 3P innovation Ltd
Simon Chambers, Director, Storm Model Management
Alastair McBain, Entrepreneur
Denise Walshe, Group Strategic Finance Projects Manager, Lakeland Dairies Co-operative Society Limited
Dame Rosemary Squire, Joint CEO
Johannes Von Stumm PPRSS PPOAS, Director
Naomi McCarthy, Independent Society of Musicians
Dr J Godber, OBE Playwright
Ian Mucklejohn, MD, Vacational Studies
Richard Griffiths, CEO, British Poultry Council
JP Garnier CEO MeatWise Int.
Dr Geoff Mackey, UK Head, Plastics Europe
Professor L Alan Winters, Co-Director, Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy
Stephen Kinsella OBE, Legal Consultant
Tamara Cincik, CEO, Fashion Roundtable
Professor Nigel Driffield,Professor of international business
Carol Griffiths, Director, Powering Partnerships
Dr. Charles Rose, Chair, Hainsford
Dr Nicholas P George, Numismatic Consultant
David Henig, Expert Adviser, UK Trade and Business Commission
Steve Brambley, Chief Executive, GAMBICA
Stephen Gosling, Chair
Vicky Pryce, Professor
Karin Goodburn, Company Director
Maurice Greig, Senior Partner
Simon Morgan, Company Director Tour Operator
David Hellyar, Chairman
Jackie Piper, Director
Chris Moore, CEO
Colin Williams, Company Director