MPs must find a path forward from Brexit stalemate

Press Releases 28 Jan 2019

Speaking ahead of MPs voting on amendments to the Government’s motion on EU withdrawal tomorrow (TUES), National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Mike Cherry said: “It is encouraging that Parliament has started to come forward with proposals to break the deadlock which has left business planning in limbo and investment decisions on hold.

“As MPs vote tomorrow evening, they should have uppermost in their minds a determination to find a path to a deal that can get through the House of Commons; and by doing so to stop the damage which many small businesses would suffer if we face a no-deal Brexit on 29th March. With just 60 days to go, the country is simply not ready.

“The cross-party amendment tabled by the MPs Yvette Cooper and Nick Boles would pave a Parliamentary path towards, if necessary, a short, technical extension of Article 50 to be requested by the Prime Minister to the EU27 until the end of June. I would ask MPs to give this amendment serious consideration. If passed, this would help provide the space for other ways forward to be explored, including on the backstop as highlighted in the amendment proposed by the Conservative 1922 Committee Chairman Sir Graham Brady.

“A stable, predictable economic and political environment is a prerequisite for small business growth and the jobs that this sustains. With small business confidence already at its lowest since 2011, a no-deal Brexit on March 29th would put this at risk.

“Half of small businesses that believe they would be impacted by a no deal Brexit told us that they would need at least two months’ notice if they were to be adequately prepared. A further third told us they would not be in a position to prepare for a no deal Brexit at all.

“Time is running out, and politicians from across the political spectrum must urgently find a path ahead to avoid the cliff-edge no deal on March 29th which the country is unprepared for.”

About FSB

As the UK’s largest business support group, FSB is the voice of the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed. Established over 40 years ago to help its members succeed in business, FSB is a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by its members, for its members. As the UK’s leading business campaigner, FSB is focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed.

FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including access to finance, business banking, legal advice and support along with a powerful voice in Government. Each year FSB also runs the UK’s Celebrating Small Business Awards. More information is available at You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.

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