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Chamber demands effective leadership and Brexit clarity


James Ramsbotham, Chamber chief executive has spoken out about this week’s tumultuous events in Parliament and the urgent need to get clarity on Brexit. He said: “It is becoming ever-more urgent that we have a Government that stops its in-fighting and gets a strong grip of Brexit.

“Our members have to be given certainty in the future trading arrangements with the EU. There has been no real progress since the referendum result in terms of giving businesses the vital information they need on essential issues such as how their supply chains will work across EU borders.

The next stage in the Brexit process is that the Prime Minister will have to present a deal to Parliament once she has met EU leaders and then there will have to be a vote in Parliament to approve or reject this.

James Ramsbotham said: “We're closely analysing this situation and engaging with our MPs so that we can make sure the views of local businesses are heard during the debate. This country’s businesses are fundamental to the UK’s success and far greater cognisance needs to be taken of their many concerns. Time is running out for our region’s employers to adapt to any deal. This endless uncertainty is stifling opportunity, investment and employment.

“Members have told us that access to the customs union and the single market is vital to the region’s economy. The current arrangements with our European neighbours continue to be the yardstick by which we will judge any outcome.

“But, with the prospect of No Deal still hanging over us, members have also been clear that a Hard Brexit is not – and cannot be – a credible option. Government must take decisive steps soon to achieve a resolution to this political fiasco that works for employers and the economy.”

Regular updates on the Brexit negotiations are on the Chamber’s website.