20 July 2016
HMRC has this week confirmed that in 2015 exports to the EU from South East Midlands-based businesses amounted to over £4.7 billion and in the same year total exports from local businesses was over £7.8 billion.
With exporting so central to our local economy we have spoken to business owners and leaders across the South East Midlands to garner their reaction to the electorate’s historic decision to leave the European Union.
Ruth Roan, business adviser for our Velocity Growth Hub, has summed up reaction from local companies. “UK businesses face uncertain times regarding the decision to leave the European Union,” said Ruth. “Many see it as an opportunity for potentially cheaper exporting, but a lot see that there will be challenging times ahead.”
“The most important thing businesses can now do is to continue to deliver their vision and plan for the future whilst keeping up-to-date and informed. Education and information sharing are essential in the months and years ahead. The Velocity team is here to support growth and steer and support businesses as they plan now and as they deliver their vision over the coming years”.
Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive of Milton Keynes and Northampton Chamber of Commerce, added: “All businesses want to see a detailed plan to support the economy during the coming transition period – as confidence, investment, hiring and growth would all be deeply affected by a prolonged period of uncertainty. If ever there were a time to ditch the straight-jacket of fiscal rules for investment in a better business infrastructure, this is it.
“Businesses need action to maintain economic stability, a timeline for exit, and answers to their many practical, real-world questions about doing business during and after this historic transition.”
Marian Sudbury, Director of Global Operations, UKTI, this month wrote to all Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Chairs and asserted the need for confidence and assurance. An extract from her letter states: “Britain is a truly great country, and it will always be capable of thriving and prospering on the world stage. We want the UK to be the easiest place in the world to trade with, from and to. This has not changed.
“We will retain economic links with our European neighbours, with our close friends in North America and the Commonwealth, and important partners like China and India and others worldwide.”
Marian continued: “The UK actively welcomes entrepreneurs and has visas for those who wish to invest in the UK and their families. We are still a member of the EU. Until Article 50 is invoked, we will continue to engage with EU business and be engaged in EU decision-making. There will be no immediate changes in the circumstances of British citizens living in the EU nor for European citizens here, nor in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold.”
The Velocity Team would like to hear your views. Please contact us if you have specific concerns or views that you would like to share with fellow businesses. We can also share your views with Government and seek answers to your questions. We will keep you up to date as we receive further information.
Please fill out this short survey about how Brexit affect your business https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HDPPSY2Back