While the UK business community is breathing a sigh of relief over a recent agreement between the Government and the European Commission on the first phase of Brexit talks – the hard work is far from over.
If you thought making even the limited progress we achieved on the Irish border question was difficult – just wait until we get on to discussing our future economic relationship with the EU.
The challenge for business is that Brexit falls far beyond the bounds of their normal interaction with government.
When a party produces a typical policy – raising a tax or building a road for example – companies can work out how it will affect them – if at all.
With Brexit businesses can do some scoping out on particular issues such as import tariffs or regulations specific to their sector but so much is unknowable at this stage.
When the Cabinet is yet to come to a collective agreement on the UK’s future relationship with the EU – how can firms possibly make any fixed plans?
What reassurance is possible for companies depends entirely upon the process of Brexit – not the final outcome.