Theresa May to meet EU business leaders to discuss post-Brexit trade

Business leaders from Europe will meet with UK Prime Minister Theresa May today to discuss the future of UK-EU trade post-Brexit.

Mrs May will attempt to win support from European businesses for her goal of moving the negotiations on to trade talks.

During the event, which the Confederation of British Industry has helped organise, Mrs May will set out her vision of a "bold and deep economic partnership" between the UK and EU after the country leaves the bloc.

Groups represented include the BDI and BDA from Germany, Medef from France and the EU-wide BusinessEurope.

The Brexit Secretary David Davis and Business Secretary Greg Clark will also attend the Downing Street event.

A leaders' summit will take place next month and the European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has previously said the moment was approaching for a "real clarification" of Britain's position on issues such as citizens' rights, the Irish border and the UK's financial settlement.

If the 27 remaining EU members agree next month that sufficient progress has been made on these issues, they will give a green light for negotiations to move on to the questions of trade and transition to a new post-Brexit negotiation.

CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn told BBC Radio Four's Today programme: "This is an important meeting because the urgency that is shared by businesses across Europe is growing by the day.

"The big message today is around mutual interest."

Ms Fairbairn said 10% of firms had enacted their contingency plans to deal with Brexit and another 25% would do so by the end of the year.

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