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Businesses back Boris Johnson's deal but have serious concerns about the future

The value of the pound rose on Thursday.

It has been on the rise for the last week or so, reflecting the belief that a no-deal departure from the EU is looking less likely.

On Thursday night, several business groups - among them the Institute of Directors and London First - have urged MPs to support Boris Johnson’s deal precisely because it avoids the disruption and the damage they warn no-deal would cause and it delivers a transition period giving them time to prepare for Brexit.

A no-deal Brexit is beginning to look less likely. Credit: PA

But business groups are also seriously worried.

That’s because Boris Johnson wants a far looser future trading relationship with the EU than the one Theresa May was hoping for.

She wanted frictionless trade, he’s after a free trade agreement.

There’s a big difference between two.

A graph showing the impact of various Brexit trade scenarios. Mr Johnson's is the second from the left, Mrs May's is the first on the right. Credit: Treasury

Companies are flicking through the revised Political Declaration and they’re fretting about customs declarations, rules of origin checks, regulatory divergence.

It’s all very technical, but it all matters greatly because these things will make trade with the EU harder and more costly.

The Political Declaration contains barely a mention of services, which makes up 80% of the British economy.

There are a lot of gaps which need filling in.

On Thursday, Chancellor Sajid Javid said the Government’s Brexit plan was “good for the economy” and rejected calls for an impact assessment.

He said Treasury has already modelled a free trade agreement of the type Boris Johnson is pursuing.

That analysis showed it would leave UK economy worse off than Theresa May’s Brexit plan.