Black Country business leaders call for end to Brexit stalemate
Business leaders across the Black Country say it is time for the Government to bring an end to the Brexit stalemate and provide firms with real answers.
It came after Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU withdrawal deal was overwhelmingly rejected.
Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said: “Black Country businesses are running out of ways to describe the current political situation in the UK.
"Above all, since June 24, 2016, what our members have asked for is a degree of certainty.
"The continued drama engulfing Westminster does nothing to help Black Country manufacturers, hauliers, hoteliers or universities.
“Our International Trade and Brexit event last week was extremely well attended because members, and non-members, want answers on what Brexit means for them.
"By extending the impasse in Parliament, their questions will remain unanswered.
“As Brexit continues to dominate all policy discussions, we run the serious risk of ignoring fundamental domestic issues which affect our members daily.
"The move from CHIEF to CDS for our exporters, the apprenticeship levy, the rollout of the T Level, continuing frustration with transport and congestion and cashflow issues are all long-standing, central policy issues here in the Black Country being placed on the backburner.”
The chamber has stepped up its support for member businesses ahead of the scheduled March 29 departure, with a series of events throughout this year planned, and following on from their oversubscribed event last week, to help firms navigate their way through Brexit.
Policy officer, Dan Turner said; "As we head further into 2019, Brexit uncertainty continues to dominate political discourse and headlines. Businesses in the Black Country are growing weary and frustrated with the entire process.
"As a chamber, both locally and nationally, we are continually pressing for further clarity on a range of issues.
"After last night’s votes and as we head closer to March 29 approaches, unacceptably, businesses remain in the dark about what a future relationship with the EU looks like. However, the results from our latest QES prove the resilience of businesses in the region."
Paul Faulkner, chief executive of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “Regardless of where businesses stand on the issue of Brexit, no one supports a messy and chaotic exit from the EU. The window for businesses to plan and prepare for Brexit is already slim and businesses need real answers now.”
It is planning a series of clinics and training initiatives to help firms navigate their way through Brexit.
Director of policy and strategic relationships Henrietta Brealey said: “We are ramping up chamber support for GBCC members through our free Business Brexit Health Check and Brexit Clinics and our in depth international trade related training programme. I would encourage all businesses to make the most of these resources and support."