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‘Put consumers first in Brexit negotiations,’ BRC urges Government

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has outlined its recommendations for the next Government ahead of the general election on June 8.

In a document entitled Pioneers, it sets out the retail industry’s vision for a plan that promotes the interests of consumers in the Brexit negotiations and supports a “pioneering, responsible and vibrant” industry for the future.

The BRC’s recommendations for the next Government are:

FOR A FAIR BREXIT FOR CONSUMERS:

  • Put consumers first in the Brexit negotiations, ensuring that ordinary shoppers are protected from the cost of unwanted new tariffs;
  • Secure a transitional arrangement that recognises all goods in free circulation, thereby avoiding a cliff edge scenario;
  • Provide assurances to the retail industry’s EU workforce;
  • Transfer existing EU regulation into UK law to help provide certainty and continuity.

FOR A PIONEERING ECONOMY IN A CHANGING WORLD:

  • Build a business tax environment fit for purpose in the 21st century;
  • Accelerate investment in digital infrastructure and enable businesses to build the required skills faster;
  • Empower business responsibility and corporate governance.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson (pictured) said: “The retail industry will want to see plans from the next Government that put consumers first in the Brexit negotiations, by ensuring that ordinary shoppers are protected from the cost of unwanted new tariffs. Our recent work on UK trade imports, spelled out the cost to consumers’ food bills of leaving without a deal and falling back on WTO rules. Helping retailers to keep prices low for consumers also means negotiating frictionless customs arrangements, providing certainty for EU colleagues working in the UK, and securing the continuity of existing EU legislation as it transfers to the UK.

“The challenges we face as we negotiate our future relationship with Europe make it essential for policy makers to understand the rapid change and testing conditions that retail must operate in. Policies that support economic growth and a business tax environment fit for purpose in the 21st century, are what’s needed from the next Government to support retail in its mission to drive productivity with better jobs, innovation and investment to improve the communities they serve.”

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