Business demands ‘real answers’ after May’s Brexit deal is rejected

Business leaders react to the latest Brexit developments as Theresa May's deal is rejected by parliament.

Business leaders in Greater Birmingham say it is time for the Government to bring an end to the Brexit stalemate and provide firms with “real answers”, after Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal was overwhelmingly rejected.

MPs this evening voted down Mrs May’s Brexit deal by 432 votes to 202 – with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn immediately tabling a motion of no confidence against the Government.

The no confidence vote will take place at 7pm on Wednesday.

In principle, the Prime Minster now has three working days to present her ‘plan B’ for Brexit, as the clock ticks towards the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU on 29 March.

Paul Faulkner (pictured), chief executive of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “Regardless of where businesses stand on the issue of Brexit, no one supports a messy and chaotic exit from the EU.

“The window for businesses to plan and prepare for Brexit is already slim and businesses need real answers now.

“Despite all of the uncertainty in recent months, businesses in the region continue to show resilience and confidence. In fact our latest Quarterly Business Report survey shows over 60 per cent of local firms expect to increase their turnover in the next 12 months.

“They are delivering on creating jobs and supporting the economy. It’s time for the Government to deliver, remove this unnecessary uncertainty and deliver a solution with the Parliamentary support it needs to put an end to this stalemate.”

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce is stepping up its support for member businesses ahead of the scheduled 29 March departure, with a series of clinics and training initiatives to help firms navigate their way through Brexit.

Director of policy and strategic relationships Henrietta Brealey said: “There are just 73 days until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU at 11pm on the 29 March. This date is set in UK law so unless an alternative is agreed, the UK will be leaving the EU on this date with or without a deal.

“As a result, we are ramping up Chamber support for GBCC members through our free Business Brexit Health Check and Brexit Clinics and our in depth international trade related training programme. I would encourage all businesses to make the most of these resources and support. “

The next GBCC Brexit Clinic will take place on 23 January – just days after the Prime Minister is expected to present her Brexit ‘plan B’ to MPs – and will be and opportunity for businesses to gain practical insight and advice on key Brexit related topics. 

For more information click here.

The GBCC Business Brexit Health Check provides businesses with a free, personalised report on getting Brexit ready – click here.

The GBCC International Business Hub is offering a range of high-quality training courses aimed at helping businesses that trade internationally prepare for Brexit – click here.

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