Theresa May’s plans for Brexit were condemned today as “simply not good enough” by business leaders in Greater Birmingham.
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) said under her proposals, announced in a House of Commons statement, businesses would effectively be given 12 to 13 working days to adapt to any of deal, no deal or extension.
The Prime Minister stated that there would be a Meaningful Vote by March 12 and if rejected she would put forward on the following day a motion asking the House if they would support leaving the EU without a deal on March 20.
If that’s rejected, Mrs May would put forward a motion asking if the House would support an extension to article 50 (she emphasised “short” extension)
Later tomorrow (Wednesday) MPs will be asked to vote on a motion setting out the Prime Minister’s next steps.
GBCC chief executive Paul Faulkner said: “Businesses will feel continued dismay about just how close to the wire taking a decision on Brexit has been allowed to become.
“If Theresa May’s timeline stands, employers will have just 16-17 days’ notice on what to expect from Brexit. That is not good enough. Brexit touches almost every possible aspect of doing business: people, trade, data, IP, tax, regulation and standards.
“Business doesn’t run to the same short-term, chaotic timetable as our political leaders currently appear to. There are companies who already have shipments in transit that aren’t set to arrive at their destinations until after March 29.
“Giving businesses just 12-13 working days to adapt to any of deal, no deal or extension of this uncertainty is simply not good enough.
“Given the incredibly tight timelines on the table, I continue to encourage businesses to build up their knowledge on of the different Brexit scenarios, how they’d impact their organisations and what they can do to prepare now
“This will leave them in the best possible place to respond quickly to the final outcome. I’d also encourage businesses to tell us how (or if) this Brexit uncertainty is affecting them by taking part in our Quarterly Business Report Survey.
“We will use the results from this survey to shape our support for businesses and lobby stakeholders on their behalf.”
Take part in the Quarterly Business Report survey here
Find out more about the support available from the GBCC to help businesses through Brexit here