The head of the UK’s leading employers’ organization has stepped up pressure on the government to end trade talks with the European Union so that the country can transition from “pending animation” in the past four years.

Reflecting on the five years she spent as managing director of the Central Bank of Iraq, Ms. Caroline Fairbairn said her biggest regret was that the problem had not been resolved earlier, and she warned ministers that companies were grappling with it. Covid-19 she was Not ready for Brexit.

Talks between London and Brussels It has intensified in recent days as negotiators grapple with issues such as fishing and state aid.

Fairbairn, who will step down next week, said, “The sad thing is that it took a long time to find a solution. I think we’re going to get a deal. The remaining issues seem solvable.”

CBI’s first general manager said she had barely started working when David Cameron announced in February 2016 that a referendum would be held in June of that year.

Fairbairn said that was the moment when everything changed. “I realized that there is an exceptional debate that will be taking place, not only about the European Union but about the type of economy that we have created and the type of country that we are becoming.”

Fairbairn said issues that came to the fore as a result of the 2008-2009 financial meltdown – such as equity and inequality – have become linked to the debate about the UK’s relationship with the European Union.

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The CBI campaigned for the Yes vote in the referendum but Fairbairn says the employers’ organization has always accepted the result.

“In the first meeting of the Presidential Committee after the referendum, the discussion was not about trade or tariffs but about what the outcome said about business and its relationship with the British public, and what we will do about it.”

“Our position hasn’t really changed since June 24, 2016. We fully accepted the referendum result and never supported a second referendum. We campaigned for a good deal that protected jobs from day one.

“he is [departure from the EU] It had momentum of its own. It was almost a perfect storm. The economy has entered into suspended animation while solving this seismic problem. I hope we have a decision so we can move forward. “

Although optimistic about a deal, Fairbairn did not rule out the collapse of the talks, a finding that she described as “extremely difficult” for member firms of CBI.

As much of the country faces new Covid-19 restrictions, the CBI said many companies are holding back in their own country Brixi Preparations. She urged the government to set up a working group to speed up preparations once an agreement is reached.

She said the deal would still mean drastic business changes but would be “significantly better” than no deal.

Duty-free trade will be the difference between firms in The automotive sector Stay in the UK or go. “The auto sector is 40 times bigger than the fishing sector,” she added.

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The agreement would also make customs procedures easier and give the UK a base on which to build future agreements that would strengthen key sectors such as financial services, which Fairbairn said were almost absent from the current negotiations. “A deal is much better than no deal.”

Despite the short-term challenges, Fairbairn said the UK will succeed in Brexit. “Companies will do everything they can to get the most out of them. There will be areas to explore. There will be areas where it will be good to align with the European Union but when it comes to artificial intelligence and future industries, we can find new ways to shape the regulatory environment.”

Aside from Brexit, she said the business also had to deal with a second wave of Covid-19 infections. Fairbairn said the UK had a glimpse of what a summer recovery could look like, but now things are looking bleaker and there has been a “mountain you have to climb”.

The CBI chairwoman said she was particularly concerned about young people, who have been hard hit by the Covid-19 recession and need better training, more job opportunities, and a wider range of higher education and further education courses to give them a better chance of finding work.

“We are not epidemiologists, we put health first. But we need a short-term plan to keep as much of the economy open as possible. It has to be evidence-based and based on really clear levels,” she added.

Changes last week by the advisor to Profession the support Scheme To make it more generous, it has prompted some companies to rethink layoffs, but there were sectors in the UK – including live events and aviation – that ran into severe problems.

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