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Focus on 'ambitious' Brexit deal than divorce settlement, business leaders urge

Economics should cut through politics over negotiations about the UK's exit from the European Union, a business leader is urging.

The CBI said the focus should be securing an "ambitious" Brexit deal rather than the divorce settlement.

Compared to a one-off departure bill, possibly of tens of billions of euro, there was a clear economic case for securing a trade agreement, given the estimated 600 billion euro value of UK-EU trade in supply chains, the business group said.

Director general Carolyn Fairbairn will say in a speech at Cambridge University: "With a good agreement, European businesses can win together.

"The business community, in the UK and the EU, is united in wanting an agreement with as few barriers as possible.

"Yet without an agreement, we'd lose together.

"For both sides, leaving the negotiating table without a deal shouldn't be Plan B but Plan Z.

"Whether it's tariffs or regulation, a no deal scenario would have chilling effects on both sides of the Channel."

She urged policy makers in the UK and Europe to listen to messages from the factory floor, adding that economics should cut through politics.

"Our message to European firms and policy makers is, keep on talking, keep on listening."

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