Skip To The Main Content
12 October 2018

Latest round of technical notes mark a tipping point in Brexit negotiations

Responding to today’s release of no deal Brexit technical notes, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman, Mike Cherry, said: “With the release of today’s technical notices, we have a complete picture of how a no deal Brexit will impact our small businesses and it isn’t a pretty one.

“From our small traders, including small manufacturers, to our self-employed service providers, a chaotic no deal Brexit will be damaging and dangerous. This is an outcome that must be avoided at all costs.

“In a no deal scenario, the UK will need to quickly put in place a high number of bi-lateral agreements with countries the UK is already in trading arrangements with through our membership of the EU. Unless this happens small businesses looking to trade with countries like Canada and South Korea, will potentially be facing trading on the basis of WTO rules.

“Even in the best case scenario – with all of these bi-lateral agreements in place on exit day, there will still be changes, for example, in relation to origin designation which time strapped small businesses will have to get their heads around. This has the potential to deter many of these businesses from trading as they simply will not be able to bear the added cost burdens.

“It is also worrying for those small businesses and self-employed that export their services to the EU including those delivering those services in person. In a no deal scenario, we could have a situation where these entrepreneurs are faced with additional legal and administrative barriers and may have to apply for a visa or work permit to be able to offer services to EU countries.

“We have reached a tipping point in the negotiations. It is critical that significant progress is made in agreeing the Withdrawal Agreement at next week’s European Council meeting. The time has now come for both the UK Government and the EU to show the necessary pragmatism to agree a good deal that allows businesses in the UK and the EU to thrive both now and in the future.”