The Confederation of British Industries (CBI) on Thursday (4 May) urged the government to "immediately guarantee" the rights of EU citizens living within the UK as the country faces Brexit negotiations. The industry body, which represents around 200,000 businesses based in the UK, also appealed for the protection of the rights of UK nationals living elsewhere in Europe.

CBI said the government should also drop the Conservative party's annual net migration target of 'tens of thousands' and prioritise immigration from the EU.

The manifesto released by CBI, entitled Backing Britain's Prosperity, listed possible measures which the government could adopt in order to make the UK "the most competitive and prosperous economy in the world" after Brexit.

Moreover, UK-EU trade negotiations should not disintegrate into a WTO rule scenario, a possibility which Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly threatened in the run-up to triggering Article 50. The existing EU trade deals must also be allowed to continue until a new policy has been agreed upon.

"In the Brexit negotiations, the new Government must put jobs and trade first. This will be a hugely complex process and they should bring the best minds from Government and business together to get the best outcome", said CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn.

"Access to skills and labour is critical for business, so firms want to see details of what a new migration system might look like by the end of the year."

The manifesto also recommended reforms to make the energy market more competitive and an improvement of national infrastructure to enhance the regional productivity.