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11 April 2019

Extension must deliver Brexit circuit breaker

Speaking after last night’s special European Council meeting, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Mike Cherry said: “After already facing two potential cliff-edges, on March 29 and April 12, small businesses are being asked to wait and see all over again whether they might face another.

“Extensions do avoid a cliff-edge in the short term, and dodging the economic harm of no-deal at 11pm tomorrow will be a huge relief for many small businesses.  What is a problem, however, is that these extensions provide no comfort that there will be an end to the debating, dithering and delay.

“They also eat into the length of the transition period which small firms desperately need if they are to have enough time to prepare for whatever changes they will need to post Brexit. By October 31, a third of the planned transition period will have been lost. Unless we get a political consensus, all a further extension does is create even more uncertainty which is driving small firms to despair.  

“Frankly, they are fed up of being made to pay the price for the political crisis that has engulfed Westminster. We have seen some cross-party engagement in recent days to try and end the stalemate. There should be no let-up in attempts to deliver the circuit breaker needed to secure a solution to this crisis.”