Tuesday 8 November 2017
London businesses tell Lords “no deal” Brexit risks “chaos”
London’s business leaders have voiced their concern of the UK leaving the EU without a transitional deal and having to fall back on WTO rules.
In its response to the Lords EU Select Committee’s “Deal or No Deal” inquiry, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said that avoiding a post-Brexit “cliff edge” is a top priority for businesses.
Exclusive polling for LCCI by ComRes on behalf of LCCI showed overwhelming support for a transition arrangement.
The results revealed 77% of London businesses agreed that an interim arrangement should be put in place to avoid the sudden reposition of tariffs and non-tariff barriers following Brexit, if an EU-UK Free Trade Agreement was not in place when the UK left.
Similarly 80% agreed that any interim agreement should last until the UK and EU agree on a permanent agreement and 76% agreed any interim arrangement should be similar to the UK’s current arrangement with the EU.
More recently further polling showed a significant majority in favour of staying in the Single Market until the new free trade and customs deal with the EU is agreed, with similar levels of support expressed for staying in the Single Market for a set period of time after the new free trade and customs deal with the EU is finalised.
Chief Executive of LCCI, Colin Stanbridge said: “The prospect of a ‘no deal’ outcome is a clearly greatly concerning many of our members.
“They are worried about the prospect of the additional burdens and costs that a ‘no deal’ would incur.
“And they are aware of the risk that it a ‘no-deal’ outcome comes about at, or close to the UK’s EU exit date if will compound difficulties for businesses that might have little time to adapt.
“This could mean chaos at ports of entry, the possibility of exacerbating the existing chronic skills shortage and a detrimental impact on the future of economic growth.”
LCCI has recommended that transition times could vary from sector to sector, but the two year figure cited by the Prime Minister should be a minimum and a more realistic idea was three – five years.
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NOTES TO EDITOR:
1. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
2. Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive, is available for further comment and interview.
3. ComRes surveyed 530 London business leaders between May-June 2017, weighted to be representative of all London businesses by company size and broad industry sector.
4. ComRes survey for LCCI of 569 London businesses, August-September 2017, weighted to be representative of all London businesses by company size and broad industry sector sector.
5. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council. Full data tables are available at www.comresglobal.com
6. LCCI has published three relevant papers on Brexit since the referendum result: Moving Towards Brexit, Permits Points and Visas and London Businesses and Brexit.
7. Read the full submission here