A firm conviction that something is the case; a general air of confidence; the state of being definite or of having no doubts at all about something: all definitions of "certainty".
An oft-used word in relation to Brexit post-general election and 31 January 2020, it remains open to debate whether there is sufficient certainty to allow businesses — including ours — to plan how to maintain their competitive edge.
That's why reports such as the CBI's Red Tape Challenge: business priorities for the future UK-EU economic relationship are a worthwhile read. Reflecting research to identify business priorities, the report presents evidence-based solutions and outcomes culminating in 22 recommendations related to trade in services, goods and customs arrangements.
As a law firm used to providing clients operating in other jurisdictions with "fly in fly out" legal advice, which requires lawyers to travel and stay in EU member states short term (often just a single day), any restriction of our ability to travel to the EU to provide that advice impacts not only on our service standards but also renders us less competitive.
There is also the matter of mutual recognition of professional qualifications.
The end of free movement may well be a certainty, but some sort of reciprocal mobility framework allowing controlled movement of skilled, employed individuals could go a long way to relieving possibly unintended consequences of that.
One thing is for certain, we'll all have to wait and see.....
Frictionless trade is coming to an end. The challenge business and government now share is to minimise red tape through negotiations so companies can focus on jobs and growth.