South Wales Chamber of Commerce comments on Brexit deal defeat in the Commons

Harri Lloyd-Davies, President, South Wales Chamber of Commerce comments:

“Most businesses in Wales are left flabbergasted tonight at the inability of our politicians to reach a conclusive decision on the way forward on Brexit. To Welsh businesses and the thousands of ordinary people they employ Brexit isn’t a political game, it is a massive change to how businesses operate. A change that no-one is clear on despite it coming in less than ten weeks.

“We’ve known for some time that Theresa May’s deal was going to be voted down but MPs had the opportunity tonight to at least give direction on the way forward. They failed to do that, letting down businesses and workers alike.

“What’s happened tonight is that we’ve taken a step closer to a messy and disorderly Brexit. The risk of leaving the EU on 29 March without a deal has already led to many businesses taking negative action; pausing on recruitment and investment, stockpiling goods, and opening operations in other parts of the EU. Too many firms are spending money that could be better spent elsewhere, or battening down the hatches, to try and anticipate a future that is no clearer tonight than it was at the referendum.

“The business community understands perfectly well that Brexit is a large and laborious process, but we are fed up with the theatrics. It is crucial that those at Westminster move beyond tactical manoeuvring and take a decision on what will happen after 29 March so that businesses know what they are preparing for.

“Our focus as a Chamber of Commerce is to help our members through the transition, whether it be a few weeks or a few years. By being part of the Chamber our members can find answers to the questions they have and the practical steps they should take despite the continued uncertainty.”

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