COBCOE responds to the UK EU Referendum

Following the Referendum result on 24 June 2016 triggering Britain's exit from the EU, we have been working on our Brexit Ambition project. The aim of this project is to help make politicians and negotiatiors aware of the business and economic issues, so that negotiations can be based upon reality and are able to deliver a successful outcome.


A unique position representing business

COBCOE is the only independent organisation representing international business based in the UK, continental Europe and beyond. Our network of British chambers of commerce and business associations is located throughout Europe, and represents around 12,000 businesses.

In order to fill the vacuum in business leadership, David Thomas MBE, Executive Chairman of COBCOE, has called upon Brexit negotiators to cooperate with real business networks, stating in his open letter: “COBCOE occupies the only viable position from which to advise on Brexit business negotiations and secure an economically viable future for Britain and Europe.” 

We believe that the successful conclusion of Brexit negotiations rests on including a European business dimension. ‘Businesses in Europe are our natural allies” David Thomas pointed out when interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme. Under the COBCOE umbrella, British chambers located in each country have the ability to float issues with business partners and their respective governments.

Representatives of COBCOE's Brexit Ambition Taskforce, led by David Thomas, went to Brussels in June 2017. They met the European Commission Task Force on Article 50 Negotiations, and highlighted the work that COBCOE chambers have been doing to identify European business concerns around future trading relationships. 

In September 2017, the report Brexit – the Voices of European Business was published. It contans the results of 12 months of research among 1,000 businesses across continental Europe, and was presented to ministers in the UK Department for Exiting the European Union in London and to officials from the European Commission Taskforce on Article 50 Negotiations in Brussels.









View the report, Brexit – the Voices of European Business

French Version    German Version

Follow on report March 2018: Review of European Business Views on the Transition Period

Open letter to the press from David Thomas MBE, COBCOE Executive Chairman 

An outline of COBCOE's Brexit Ambition project


How to get involved 

Would you like to support the next phase of this project?

  1. Sign up to our mailing list for information and updates
  2. Contact us


COBCOE's Brexit Ambition partner is Hogan Lovells, the international law firm.

The initiative is also supported by Today Translations and Kompass.

Hogan Lovells logo




Kompass UK



Window into Europe