European Union asks Britain to not lower environmental standards after Brexit

A tractor participates in a protest at the border crossing in Killeen near Dundalk | Paul Faith  AFP via Getty Images

A tractor participates in a protest at the border crossing in Killeen near Dundalk | Paul Faith AFP via Getty Images

Stephen Hurley, Senior Lawyer and Head of Brexit Planning at BT Group, said: "The current United Kingdom regulatory framework, which is grounded in EU law and ensures an important role for the EU Commission, has worked well for the most part and has been successful in delivering substantial investment and effective competition in the United Kingdom across a wide variety of markets".

The CBI study, compiled over a six month period, seeks to inform Brexit negotiations by outlining where businesses want to stay close to European Union rules and where they want divergence.

The influential business body, which represents 190,000 firms, will today argue efforts to deliver on the United Kingdom and EU's shared goal of securing an affordable and clean energy supply will be best served by continued close co-operation on energy and climate matters.

Richard Tice, co-chair of Leave Means Leave, said: "This report from the CBI protects the vested interests of global multi-nationals at the expense of the approximately 90% of the United Kingdom economy that does not export to the EU".

"The current regime also enables UK operators and customers to benefit from the Single Market and we therefore think ongoing UK/EU alignment is important post-Brexit".

The energy-related recommendations are part of a wider report on businesses' concerns about the government's Brexit plans.

He said: "Does the United Kingdom want to stay close to European regulatory model or distance itself from it?"

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Of the 23 United Kingdom industry and service sectors covered in the report, 18 prefer convergence or alignment for the majority of key business regulations after Brexit, according to the CBI.

Negotiations are under way between the two sides, but the United Kingdom has already said it plans to leave the single market, which provides for frictionless trade across borders and involves the free movement of people between member states.

Another important finding is that changes to rules in one sector have significant knock on effects for companies in other sectors and throughout supply chains.

Neil Carberry, CBI managing director of infrastructure and people, said the report provided "unparalleled evidence" from businesses' experience that will help inform decisions during Brexit negotiations.

"The Internal Energy Market is a collaborative project with a long-term vision", he explained.

Senior Brexiteers in Cabinet including Gove and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson insist that "managed divergence" in some key areas is the only means by which May can reap the rewards of Brexit.

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