UK business patience 'at breaking point' over Brexit

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), issued the assessment before PM Theresa May's crunch Brexit ministerial summit this week.

Published: 03rd July 2018 05:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2018 05:54 PM   |  A+A-

Representational Image for Brexit | Reuters

By AFP

LONDON: The patience of British business is at "breaking point" over the government's lack of progress in Brexit talks, a key lobby group warned Tuesday.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which represents thousands of firms across the country, issued the assessment before Prime Minister Theresa May's crunch Brexit ministerial summit this week at her countryside retreat.

The organisation urged politicians to stop "squabbling" and listed the 24 top "real world" worries, calling for clarity over tax, tariffs, customs and regulation in the post-Brexit world.

May will take her divided cabinet away on Friday to Chequers, north of London, in a bid to thrash out their differences on how close economically Britain should stay to the EU, with just nine months to go until the nation's exit on March 29 next year.

"Now, with the time running out ahead of the UK's exit from the EU, business patience is reaching a breaking point," said BCC director general Adam Marshall in a statement, stressing that firms had waited patiently for two years to no avail. 

"Businesses have every right to speak out when it is abundantly clear that the practical questions affecting the competitiveness of their firms and the livelihoods of millions of people remain unanswered," Marshall said.

"With less than nine months go to until Brexit day, we are little closer to the answers businesses need than we were the day after the referendum."

In recent weeks, major European manufacturers Airbus, BMW and Siemens have warned that Brexit could mean their pulling investment out of Britain, imperilling tens of thousands of jobs.

Britain voted narrowly in June 2016 to quit the European Union but politicians from all sides have wrestled ever since with the future shape of its post-Brexit relationship with the bloc.

"It's time for politicians to stop the squabbling and the Westminster point-scoring -- and start putting the national economic interest first," added Marshall.

"These are not siren voices or special interests. They are the practical, real-world concerns of businesses of every size and sector, in every part of the UK."

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