U.K. Sets Up Advisory Group to Give Business a Voice on Brexit

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. government is setting up an advisory group to ensure that business is given a say over Britain’s approach to Brexit.

The new body was confirmed in Parliament on Tuesday by Business Secretary Greg Clark, who told lawmakers he’s met with workers, businesses and local leaders around the country and investors around the world since last year’s referendum decision to leave the European Union. 

“These will continue over the coming months, including my weekly meetings with the directors general of the five main business organizations,” Clark said in London. “The government is creating a new EU exit business advisory group to ensure that business is not only heard but is influential throughout the negotiations.”

The new forum should provide business with some solace that its voice is being listened to. Companies have largely pushed for a softer Brexit that preserves as much as possible current trade ties with the other 27 EU members.

Brexit Secretary David Davis and other ministers are likely to attend fortnightly meetings of the new group, an official familiar with the plans said, asking not to be named discussing government business. Also invited will be the five groups that Clark alluded to in Parliament: the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Directors, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, and the EEF, which lobbies for the country’s manufacturers.