‘No deal’ must be ruled out, urges Business West, as it warns of rising anger among firms over Brexit

January 16, 2019
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The “overriding priority” for both the government and Parliament must be to avoid a no deal Brexit following the overwhelming defeat of the Prime Minister’s deal, the region’s largest business organisation said this week.

Business West, which runs Bristol Chamber of Commerce, said firms in the region now found themselves “facing the unwelcome prospect of a messy and disorderly exit from the EU on March 29”. 

Theresa May’s Brexit deal was opposed by a majority of 230 on Tuesday evening – triggering a crisis at the heart of government and more consternation for businesses trying to plan beyond the UK’s departure date.

Business West has taken a strong view on the need for a controlled Brexit since the results of 2016’s referendum and has castigated politicians for failing to negotiate in the best interests of UK business and the economy.

Its clearly frustrated managing director Phil Smith, pictured, continued to pull no punches this week, saying: “There are no more words to describe the frustration, impatience, and growing anger amongst business after two and a half years on a high-stakes political rollercoaster ride that shows no sign of stopping.

“Basic questions on real-world operational issues remain unanswered. The overriding priority for both government and Parliament must now be to avoid the clear danger that a no deal exit would pose to businesses and communities across the UK.

“Every second that ticks by sees more businesses spending money on unwanted changes, activating contingency plans or battening down the hatches and halting investment, as they try to anticipate a future that is no clearer now than it was at the time of the referendum result.”

Businesses would take a dim view of more shuttle diplomacy and last-minute bargaining, which he said had so far done nothing to end the political impasse.

“The government must now urgently set out in concrete terms what it will do to avoid the damage that a messy and disorderly exit on March 29 would cause to businesses, communities, and the UK economy.”

 

 

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