15:54 GMT +315 October 2018
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    Protesters hold up anti-Brexit placards as they take part in a protest in support of an amendment to guarantee legal status of EU citizens, outside the Houses of Parliament in London on March 13, 2017

    UK Businesses Want Gov't to Prioritize Access for EU Citizens in Brexit Talks

    © AFP 2018 / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS
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    LONDON (Sputnik) - The London-based Institute of Directors business organization said that most of its members believed that preferential access to the United Kingdom for EU citizens after Brexit would be beneficial for their business and called on the government to make the issue a priority in talks with the European Union.

    "The Institute of Directors has today urged the Government to prioritize a reciprocal agreement with the EU on movement of people," the organization said in a statement, obtained by Sputnik.

    According to the institute, a poll has been carried out among the members of the organization, revealing that over 60 percent of them believe that such preferential treatment would be important for their business after Brexit.

    "While the Government may be ending free movement as we know it, a preferential deal with the EU on what replaces it simply must be on the table. The principle of treating all countries equally is laudable, however, in practice, our close geography and interwoven supply chains make continued access to EU talent an urgent matter for British businesses," Director General of the Institute of Directors Stephen Martin said.

    READ MORE: Anti-Brexit Protest: People March in Birmingham Amid Tory Conference (PHOTO)

    He argued that the European Union was the country's most important trade partner, adding that the institute members had also reported that the EU countries accounted for the latest growth in export for their companies.

    "Access to our labor market is no doubt attractive to other countries, and it makes sense that this should factor into negotiations as the UK seeks access to the European market. But the Prime Minister must keep in mind the benefits a deal would bring British firms too," Martin said.

    The United Kingdom is currently engaged in challenging talks with the European Union, trying to get a deal that will allow the country to withdraw from the bloc.

    READ MORE: More Expensive Than Expected: Brexit Costs UK £500Mln Per Week — Report

    However, the European Union has rejected UK Prime Minister Theresa May's most recent Chequers plan, which envisaged the establishment of a UK-EU free trade area based on a "common rulebook" and the refusal to draw a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, threatening the EU single market, according to Brussels.

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    Tags:
    Brexit 'deal or no deal', business, access, Brexit, European Union, United Kingdom
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