Carolyn Fairbairn
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said the UK Government needs to work through all the issues mentioned in its report to ensure success of Brexit for the whole economy Paul Hackett/Reuters

The Confederation of Business Industries (CBI) wants the government to take a "whole economy" approach while negotiating Brexit terms with the European Union. In a report called Making A Success Of Brexit, published on Wednesday (21 December), the business organisation said this would ensure that no sector is left behind in an attempt to successfully exit the bloc.

The report noted that the consequences of leaving any sector behind could have knock-on effects on other sectors as there is no business that operated in isolation. The CBI stressed that while products came with complementary services, supply chains extended borders and many companies operated such that they belonged to more than one sector.

CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said, "The modern UK economy is ever more interconnected. Legislation in one sector can have a knock-on effect in many others. For example, any business that handles data or has an online presence can be affected by future digital regulations, not just technology companies.

"The CBI will work closely with the government to deliver an outcome that helps to meet the needs of firms throughout the UK, building a post-Brexit economy that spreads prosperity to all."

The business group pointed out that businesses had different priorities to meet, which include a barrier free relationship with the EU, access to skilled labour, certainty in the short-term, access and opportunity, protection of the social and economic benefits of EU funding, a renewed focus on global economic relationships, with the business community at their heart and finally a smooth Brexit.

Fairbairn further explained: "Where companies differ is how they prioritise these issues and the contrasting emphasis they place on trade, migration and regulation. To make a success of Brexit for the whole economy, government needs to work through all these issues, as well as seize the opportunities afforded by a new focus on the UK's global economic relationships."

The report followed one of CBI's biggest ever consultations with business groups, wherein it held thousands of conversations with companies of all sizes, across sectors.