Chamber responds to 'meaningful vote' outcome

Ross McNally - Hampshire Chamber Executive Chairman
Ross McNally - Hampshire Chamber Executive Chairman

Responding to the Parliamentary vote, Ross McNally, Executive Chair of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Firms in Hampshire and across the UK deserve clarity on the specific terms of trade they will face in future, both with Europe and further afield.

“Sadly, uncertainty continues. Now the Prime Minister’s deal has been rejected, we need to start looking at all the options available to the UK to avoid a messy scenario. It is crucial that Westminster delivers an agreement that works for UK businesses.

“There is no appetite among the business community for a messy and disorderly Brexit – businesses are frustrated by the delays. The prospect of leaving the EU on March 29 without a deal leads to many businesses taking action – such as pausing on recruitment and investment, stockpiling goods, and opening new operations. This is not helpful if these prove unnecessary. Firms spending money that could be better spent elsewhere, or battening down the hatches, to try and anticipate an unclear future is wasteful and a distraction. The next stage must be to arrive at an outcome which can be relied on and businesses can plan for.

“The business communities which the Chamber of Commerce represents have a diverse range of views on the relationship with the EU, but they do agree on the need to avoid a messy and disorderly Brexit. Getting clarity and precision is vital so firms can better plan for the future.

“Businesses want this chapter of Brexit to come to a conclusion. The Government must act decisively on areas within their control, such as migration and customs procedures. Firms are in the dark on too many aspects of life after March 29. Neither government nor business is prepared for the consequences of no deal.

“Our priority at Hampshire Chamber is to continue working with our members and the wider business community to lobby for certainty so business investment and confidence can return or be maintained.”

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