5 demands on the IoD’s Brexit wish list
Brexit is not going according to plan, if media headlines are to be believed.
MPs are gearing up for a key vote on legislation this week, which – if successful – will overturn the 1972 Act that took the UK into the European Economic Community.
The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill intends to bring Britain back out of the union while transposing existing EU laws straight into the UK statute book.
However, the bill has been criticised for handing extensive powers to the government during the Brexit process. The Liberal Democrats, Labour and even some Conservative MPs have indicated opposition to the bill.
How can Brexit run more smoothly?
With political parties finding it difficult to form a cohesive message among their own members, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has offered its views on what the government should do to ensure the best Brexit for everyone.
Here are five recommendations the organisation has made.
1. Minimise EU employment challenges
Labour mobility is a crucial Brexit issue for many British and EU workers across Europe – and the topic will no doubt be a priority for many of our readers. The IoD states that approximately 40 per cent of its members have at least one EU member of staff.
The government should therefore quickly guarantee residency rights for EU employees already living in the UK, as well as ensure a reciprocal agreement between Britain and other nations to facilitate the free movement of workers.
2. Support tariff-free and quota-free goods trade
Currently, companies pay no charges for moving goods between EU nations, but this could be set to change after Brexit.
The IoD has urged the government to consider how to prevent tariffs and quotas from driving up business costs and making Britain’s exports less attractive. The implementation of measures to minimise customs delays is also important.
3. Maintain regulation stability
The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is designed to ensure EU laws are quickly enshrined into the UK system as the country prepares to leave the union. The IoD said regulatory stability is essential and any changes made to legislation should be done so “in an orderly fashion”.
The institute has also raised the issue of contract law, with a new system needed to enforce new and existing business agreements between the UK and European nations post-Brexit.
4. Continued participation in EU R&D projects
The UK is currently involved in many EU schemes that could have an impact on different industries and the recruitment market.
For example, Horizon 2020 is the biggest European-funded innovation initiative ever, while the Erasmus student exchange programme has helped bridge cultural gaps for more than 30 years.
Participation in these projects will help the UK maintain access to important developments across the European community.
5. Ensure a transitional agreement
In July, chancellor Philip Hammond suggested that a transitional agreement could allow British and EU relations to remain similar to current arrangements for a three-year period.
Free movement of staff, access to the single market and other systems would remain in place in order to cushion the impact of Brexit. The IoD supports a transitional agreement, claiming it would help the government “negotiate all the details, and [give] business time to adapt”.
Are you ready for Brexit?
Our latest research uncovered various Brexit trends that could affect the corporate governance recruitment market over the coming months and years.
We found that many workers are willing to relocate to Europe if their employment opportunities are hampered in the UK, and some staff are already worried about job security.
This could indicate a brain drain is on the horizon for companies, particularly if a hard Brexit puts EU worker residency at risk.
Businesses must therefore assess their current employment needs and preparedness to prevent themselves from suffering a severe Brexit hangover.
Our 2017 Compensation and Market Trends Report combines our review of the prevailing conditions in the corporate governance recruitment market together with the results of our latest employer survey.
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