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CBI chief Tony Danker joins Tory Brexiters’ criticism of seeking Swiss-style Brexit deal

Business leader says more important to implement current Brexit deal and solve Northern Ireland impasse

Tony Danker, the CBI director general, may not be asking for a Swiss-style Brexit deal, but he does want more immigration. In his interview on the Today programme, he said the government should expand the shortage occupation list – the list of jobs for which foreigners can easily get work visas, because employers cannot find Britons to fill them. He told Today:

When you look at the OBR report on Thursday, they said the only thing that’s really moved the needle on growth is by allowing in a bit more immigration.

The reason why it’s so important is we have literally over a million vacancies in this country, we have 600,000 people who are now long-term unwell, who aren’t coming back to the labour market any time soon.

Senior government figures are planning to put Britain on the path towards a Swiss-style relationship with the European Union.

I’m a bit puzzled about the whole Swiss thing. It took them about 40 years to get to the Swiss arrangement. Currently, we’re not even implementing Boris’s deal. Let’s implement Boris’s Brexit deal, that still has some growth in it, by the way, that’s all come to a freeze, and let’s forget the discussion about Switzerland for now.

All I want to do is implement Boris’s deal. Currently we’re not implementing Boris’s deal. We’ve got we’ve got an impasse because of the Northern Ireland protocol. There’s lots of freezing of our science relationships, of our recognition of our qualifications, of easier travel across Europe. Those things will give us some growth. But it needs the Europeans and the British government to get round the table and solve the protocol.

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There’s a landing zone there. If we fulfil the agreement on the protocol, we’ll start to open up some of those other other economic benefits from Boris’s trade deal.

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