Open letter from our Chairman

COBCOE (the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe) occupies the only viable position from which to advise on Brexit business negotiations and secure an economically viable future for Britain and Europe. 

8 July 2016

There is an immediate need to fill the vacuum in political and business leadership. In order to create the stability and policy framework for viable future trade relationships, the UK and Europe need access to an organisation with working knowledge of multi jurisdictional, pan European business needs and sentiment.

To save essential time, Government should use a system that already brings UK and European business together in delivered cooperation- the COBCOE network.

COBCOE occupies the position of being the only organisation with multi-nodal European business networks linked to London that can directly tap such international business to gauge and test the implications of any policy formulation by Westminster for trade negotiations. COBCOE has a pan European British chamber network of more than 40 members, each containing the businesses creating wealth for Europe and the UK.

British Chambers located in each country under the COBCOE umbrella have the ability to float issues with their business partners and host government in preparation of any formal diplomatic dialogue and can be used by the UK preparation and negotiating teams to test issues and positions as they are formulated in London before diplomatic engagement starts. More than 50% of the members of the constituent chambers of COBCOE are non-British companies. They are natural allies in shaping what must be the structure of post-Brexit market access across Europe, and have significant sway with their host governments to counter any political dogmatic positions in Brussels.

As a result of testing opinion through COBCOE’s multi-nodal networks across more than 40 countries, we advise an immediate action to stimulate trade. The Government should introduce a tax credit scheme for UK exporters to be used on products and services that have demonstrably enabled delivered export activity, balancing the trade deficit and boosting British business. This will cost the exchequer nothing on balance. It can recoup the “cost” through VAT, employment and corporate taxes on increased activity from those providing the assistance as well as increased export flows.

We are consulting with our business partners across Europe including UK in preparation for commencing work in bringing businesses across Europe together to develop a common voice in defining the market model we need. We invite all interested to join us.


Download this letter in pdf format 

See outline of the COBCOE Brexit response initiative

Media enquries to Yellow Jersey PR, Aidan Stanley,, +44 7584 085670


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

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