Business for Britain need a reality check: Any UK deal outside EU is decided by the rest of Europe

Responding to a new report from Business for Britain, the pro-European business group Business for New Europe said that wishful thinking was not a convincing case for leaving.

Any deal for Britain outside the EU would have to be decided by the rest of Europe, so whatever picture Eurosceptics paint there is no guarantee of what Britain’s place outside would look like.

Campaign Director of Business for New Europe, Lucy Thomas, said:

“By painting a pretty picture of what kind of deal they’d like, Business for Britain are missing a vital point: the rest of Europe gets to decide what ‘Out’ looks like for us.  

“They are so caught up in getting us out that they’ve forgotten to check the details. If we vote to leave it isn’t Britain that decides what any new deal looks like, it’s the other EU leaders.

“Surely Britain’s best place is around the negotiating table arguing for a better deal rather than banging on the door from outside.”


Notes to Editors:

The procedure following a member state deciding to leave the EU can be found at Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty here:

  • Article 50(4) states that the UK would not have a seat at the table in negotiating the withdrawal agreement or a "post-Brexit treaty" in the council of ministers, and not in the European Council either (Commissioners and MEPs would be unaffected). The UK would be treated according to Article 218, classifying it as a "third party"
  • The qualified majority vote (QMV) required to agree any post-Brexit agreement would be recalculated to account for the absence of a British representative
  • Any free trade agreement post-Brexit would require ratification by all EU member states, as do most other EU free trade agreements (complicating the argument "of course they would sign an FTA on the first day")

Media Contacts

For other media inquiries, please contact the Business for New Europe press office on 020 7256 6575 or 07779639460 or email [email protected]

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