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Businesses at a loss over Brexit preparations – report

Brexit uncertainty means firms are withholding key investment decisions, according to a CMI executive.

Businesses have hit out at ongoing uncertainty (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Businesses have hit out at ongoing uncertainty (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

By Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent

Firms remain “at a loss” about what Brexit preparations they should be making amid continued confusion about the future, according to a business leader.

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) said progress on Parliament’s support for a deal had been undermined by the timetable being voted down and the “inflexibility” of the Government’s response.

Chief executive Ann Francke said: “Businesses are again lost as to what Brexit preparations they should be making, creating economic uncertainty. Are we deal or no-deal? Clearly we should deal.

“To do so, the Prime Minister needs to take a pragmatic, co-operative approach to his work with both Parliament and the European Union, to ensure the UK secures a deal.

“Only then can we build a future relationship with the EU that is good for jobs and the economy.”

Kevin Brundish, chief executive of AGM Batteries said each day of Brexit uncertainty means firms are withholding key investment decisions.

“As demand for batteries continues to rise, leading UK manufacturers like ourselves are hoping for the UK Government to settle on the right deal, fast.

“The fragile economy needs promise of ongoing stimulation if we are to keep up with the expansion of the market.

“Battery supply for the niche UK manufacturing industry is already challenged, as it struggles to meet demand, and with the volume required being vastly surpassed by offshore production levels.

“In response, the Government should be focusing on ending Brexit and drawing back in investment to aid the creation of a robust UK supply chain, instead of relying on large scale manufacturers abroad,” he said.

PA

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