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12 October 2017

Small business frustration growing at lack of Brexit progress

Responding to the conclusion of the latest round of Brexit negotiations, Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman, said: “We are almost half-way between the EU referendum and the date that the UK will leave the EU. Small firms are growing increasingly frustrated and disappointed that there has still been no agreements on milestone issues such as a ‘standstill’ transition period, the Northern Ireland border and the rights of EU citizens living and working in the UK.  

“What is deeply worrying is that there seems to be no progress being made on setting in place the terms and conditions of a transitional period. Securing a ‘standstill’ transition period was the cornerstone of Theresa May’s Florence speech and should be prioritised to provide much needed certainty and clarity.

“With the fifth round of negotiations having just concluded, and the timetable slipping, it was some measure of comfort that there are plans for further talks before the end of the year. There is a need for progress to be made or we risk the real possibility of no deal being agreed. In the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario, proper contingency planning, from the UK Government and the EU27, must accelerate to reduce the detrimental impacts of any cliff edge exit.”