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Brexit - UK businesses are really ‘running out of patience’

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The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which represents thousands of businesses of all sizes and sectors in the UK, and employs over 5,000,000 employees, has vented its frustrations at the lack of progress on a Brexit deal. The Chambers recently published a document containing 23 questions that it says it needs answers for urgently. The questions relate to areas such as VAT, tariffs, customs and regulations.

  • Customs - whether goods will be subject to new procedures and delayed at border points?
  • Regulation - whether checks on goods conducted in the UK will be recognised by the EU?
  • Mobility - whether firms will be able to transfer staff between the UK and the EU as they do now?

Airbus and BMW having already warned the UK government of their concerns regarding a ‘no deal,’ Despite this, some cabinet ministers have dismissed their comments, much to the ire of BCC’s Adam Marshall who supported the companies right to speak out in search of answers that affect their businesses and the livelihood of their employees.

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Dr Marshall stated, “"Over the past two years, businesses have been patient…”

"Now, with the time running out ahead of the UK's exit from the EU, business patience is reaching breaking point.”

"It's time for politicians to stop the squabbling and the Westminster point-scoring - and start putting the national economic interest first.”

"These are not 'siren voices' or special interests. They are the practical, real-world concerns of businesses of every size and sector, in every part of the UK."

A UK government spokesperson attempted to ease the concerns of UK businesses by saying, “Ministers continue to work closely with business to understand their concerns, and by successfully negotiating the implementation period with the EU until December 2020, companies can carry on trading with confidence on the same terms as they do now.”

“We have put forward workable proposals to the EU on a range of areas from the backstop to security - and the White Paper, which will be published shortly, will continue to drive this process forward.”

Concerns

According to the BBC the ambiguity surrounding Brexit in the areas of interest rate rises, threats of trade wars, and rising oil prices were cause for concern. The BBC also warned that the UK economy faces its weakest year since the financial crisis began.

Other organisations are also stepping up to voice their concerns. The Professional and Business Services Council (PBSC), an organisation that represent legal services and accounting firms, has presented the UK Prime Minister with a letter highlighting its concerns that the interests of its members are not being taken into account in the negotiations.

"We fear that both the interim and final deal with the EU will not fully include the fundamental requirements to avoid sustained harm to our sectors and our clients, and thereby the wider economy." - PBSC

Theresa May's eagerly awaited white paper is due to be published soon, whether or not it can ease the concerns of UK businesses remains to be seen. 

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