Prior to the Brexit vote last June, it was predicted that a vote to leave the European Union (EU) would cause a major recession and plunge the UK into an economic downturn.
Though this hasn’t happened, businesses across the country are concerned about other issues that have arisen since the EU referendum such as loss of staff and loss of access to EU clients.
Some companies are even moving production or headquarters out of the UK in order to retain access to business in the bloc.
What is the UK government doing to reassure businesses that they will be ok after March 2019?
Hammond says he will listen to concerns
Philip Hammond, the UK’s chancellor, is expected to charm businesses at a speech this week where he will say that the government will listen to companies’ concerns over Brexit.
At an event organised by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Hammond will reassure businesses that they will not be ignored during the Brexit negotiations and concessions may be made on their behalf.
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Hammond is known as a keen supporter of the Soft Brexit camp and although he has stressed the UK will leave the single market, he is pushing for a two-year grace period to allow businesses to adjust to a life outside of the union.
A new advisory group
David Davis, the secretary of state for exiting the EU and business secretary Greg Clarke have joined together to set up a new advisory group for businesses over Brexit.
The new group will include representatives from the Institute of Directors, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the CBI, the manufacturers’ organisation EEF and the Federation of Small Businesses.
The creation of the group, which will meet fortnightly, is also seen as an attempt to allow big businesses access to the UK government after complaints prior to the election that they were being shut out by prime minister May’s advisors.
May disbanded the business advisory group that met regularly with the previous Conservative prime minister, David Cameron, and this group is seen as a chance to rectify that.
BCC’s director-general Adam Marshall told the Financial Times that he believes the group will be crucial to the success of UK companies in a post-Brexit world.
“We look forward to working with partners in business and government to make sure the practical issues for business and trade are addressed in the months ahead.”
— BCC (@britishchambers) June 27, 2017
Davis to host business conference
As well as the advisory group, Davis will lead a conference for business leaders this week as a show of support to allow them to have a bigger say in the Brexit process.
A government source told Reuters Davis was “determined to bolster the government’s engagement with the business community on Brexit.”
“That is why he recently announced an intention to coordinate activity with the prime minister, chancellor and business secretary to ensure we tap into the wealth of specialist knowledge from businesses up and down the country.”