Business leaders are set to urge the Government to work hand-in-hand with them over Brexit.
While the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says its members are fully behind making Brexit work for Britain, it needs to work together with the government to make sure a divorce from Europe is beneficial for the economy.
The organisation will call for calm as Britain heads towards triggering Article 50.
CBI President Paul Drechster will urge Prime Minister Theresa May to be more transparent over Brexit negotiations.
In a keynote speech to the business body’s annual conference, he is set to say:“The firms I speak to every day are 100 per cent committed to making the best of Brexit. To do this, Government and business must do more than just work together.
“We must be two partners with a common cause; two signatories to the same contract, securing the best possible result for the British people.
“On Brexit, business has a responsibility to be part of the solution. We need to remain calm, confident and constructive.”
While Mr Drechster says businesses understand more than anyone that prudence is necessary when entering into negotiations, he also says more openness is needed.
He will add: “We’re not asking for a running commentary, but we are looking for clarity and, above all, a plan.”
The CBI is baking Mrs May’s May deadline to Trigger Article 50.However, he said firms were understandably nervous as they think about whether a sudden change in trading conditions could come into force.
He said that ports, airports and logistics companies could find themselves in a red tape nightmare if suddenly faced with new trading rules.
The CBI boss added: “For many firms, it is not about a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit but a ‘smooth’ Brexit which avoids these cliff edge problems.”
Business leaders at the organisation have been pressing Mrs May to commit to long-term infrastructure projects, which will have an economic benefit, including the new runway at Heathrow.
The CBI is looking to form a better relationship with Mrs May’s government following a number of comments and statements from ministers which provoked anger among bosses.
Trade Secretary Liam Fox, for example, said that businessmen in Britain were lazy, heading out to play golf on Friday afternoons, instead of trying to boost the nation’s economy. Meanwhile, in an idea which has now been shelved, Home Secretary Amber Rudd proposed introducing new red tape for firms, so they would have to reveal the nationalities of their workers.