COBCOE's Brexit Ambition



The Brexit Project is focused on the priorities of businesses across Europe.  The importance of the project and the roundtable discussions has become all the more apparent in light of Theresa May's speech on 17 January 2017.

In her speech, the Prime Minister made clear that the UK is aiming for a hard-headed agreement with the EU based on on-going common interests. It will not remain a member of the Single Market, and it will not remain a member of the Customs Union as we understand it. The UK Government hopes that it can reach a sensible, commercial, agreement with the EU based on mutual interests and a heritage of collaboration and respect, particularly in the regulatory field. It is crucial that the voice of European business is heard loud and clear on what those mutual interests are — and that it is heard not just in the UK, but in Brussels and in capitals around Europe. 

The British chambers in Europe are uniquely positioned to establish what common interests exist between the EU27 and the UK, and to articulate them to their respective governments, in the hope that a more pragmatic agreement can be reached between the UK and the EU, for the benefit of businesses across Europe. This will widen the recognition of the COBCOE network as a key stakeholder for governments in our network, continuing our close consultation.

On that basis, we consider that the three primary purposes of the project are as follows:

1.    to identify the areas of common interest between the EU27 and the UK, in the hope that these can be protected as part of the UK's withdrawal agreement;

2.    to identify the steps government needs to take/negotiate to implement the withdrawal agreement with minimum disruption to business; and 

3.    to identify what government needs to do immediately (i.e. before the conclusion, or possibly start, of withdrawal negotiations) to ensure that business continue to be able to grow and invest during the negotiation period.

This is, to our knowledge, the only business-led qualitative research into these relationships in core economic sectors across EU member states, incorporating and featuring:

  • Research led by business

  • Research into business relationships within the EU

  • Studies of core sectors in each member state

  • A 360° business relationships view of the economic web mirroring the work that EU businesses operate in.

  • Exploration of the interwoven and diverse nature of supply and support chains

  • Sound methodology for qualitative research based on testing

  • A high degree of integrity through the report being in the public domain


This research will be used to provide briefings for:

  • Primary audience – UK Government, national governments and the European Commission

  • Secondary audience – political groups within the European Parliament, business communities and the media

Read about our Brexit project in the Emerging Europe online publication

For more information, please contact:

COBCOE's Brexit partners are Hogan Lovells, the international law firm, and Lloyd's, the world’s specialist insurance and reinsurance market. 


The initiative is also supported by AIGToday Translations and Kompass


Hogan Lovells logoLloyds of London logo


Today TranslationsKompass




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