October 17, 2017 / 4:23 PM / 5 months ago

European companies "extremely concerned" with slow Brexit talks pace

BRUSSELS, Oct 17 (Reuters) - European business association BusinessEurope said on Tuesday it was extremely concerned with the slow pace of Brexit talks and called on the British government to rapidly come up with proposals that would speed them up.

BusinessEurope is a lobby group that speaks for all-sized enterprises in 34 European countries, including Britain.

“Business Europe is extremely concerned with the slow pace of negotiations,” the group said in a letter to the chairman of European leaders Donald Tusk.

“One year has already been lost and time pressure is rising. Business wants to avoid a cliff edge. Our companies need clarity and time to prepare and adjust to the post-Brexit situation,” said the letter ahead of an EU summit on Thursday and Friday.

Britain is to leave the 28-nation bloc on March 29th, 2019 and is negotiating the terms of the divorce. Talks on the relations after March 2019 have not yet started because of the lack of progress on the terms of the separation.

BusinessEurope said the best solution would be for Britain to stay part of the EU’s customs union and single market, with all its advantages and obligations, during a transition period after Brexit. London wants a 2-year transition phase. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski, editing by Julia Fioretti)

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