UK firms running out of patience with Brexit ‘division and disorganisation’, says chambers chief

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, says its 75,000 members, including many in the Liverpool city region, are dismayed at the Brexit approach. Tony McDonough reports

Business organisations are becoming dismayed and frustrated by the Brexit process

 

UK businesses are running out of patience with the Government over the ongoing “division and disorganisation” around Brexit, a top business leader in warning.

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), says its 75,000 members, including many in the Liverpool city region, are dismayed at the approach of Prime Minister Theresa May and her ministers to the country’s withdrawal from the EU.

Discussions on a possible trade deal are expected to begin in the first quarter of this year but squabbles among so called ‘hard Brexiteers’ and ‘soft Brexiteers’ in the cabinet played out in the media are eroding confidence in the Government’s ability to deliver a deal.

Add to that the lack of a clear vision from the opposition Labour Party on its Brexit policy and it all adds u[p to huge frustration for Britain’s businesses, large and small.

The BCC represents firms employing more than 5m people and, speaking to the Observer, Mr Marshall said: “Some very big decisions lie ahead.

“Getting the twin challenges of Brexit and the economic fundamentals right will require leadership, consistency and clarity – after a year in which business has been dismayed by what it sees as division and disorganisation across Westminster.

“Businesses have been very patient in waiting for clarity on Brexit in the 18 months since the referendum. That patience is now wearing thin. Businesses want answers, they want clarity and they want results.”

The BCC’s call for clarity echoes that voiced by other business organisations including the CBI, Federation of Small Businesses, Institute of Directors and manufacturers’ bod, the EEF.

The chaos at the heart of Government over Brexit was highlighted further this week by the resignation of Labour peer Lord Adonis as chair of the National Infrastructure Commission.

A prominent remained, Lord Adonis claimed there had been a “nervous breakdown” across Whitehall since the referendum result.

He explained: “The senior civil service is now totally drained physically and psychologically by attempting to deliver the impossible with Brexit, such that it is no longer able to deliver the ordinary business of Government.”

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