Sheffield Chamber of Commerce - Where we are after Brexit

28th June 2016

Nobody can hide that the business environment has entered a time of uncertainty but the vote has now been taken and the answer received.

Subject to the triggering of Article 50 the UK will commence negotiations to change its relationship with the EU. Whatever the final relationship ends up as it will have consequences for local and national businesses and it is incumbent on Sheffield Chamber and the British Chamber of Commerce to ensure it is the best possible one for business and employers. We are making the point strongly that business must, as far as possible carry on as normal. The big danger now is that political issues, namely the resignation of the Prime Minister, and the issues within the Labour party will distract everybody so that they effectively sit on their hands for some period and that could be critical. Interestingly we should not knee jerk into immediate action that proves detrimental in the long term. The Governor and the Chancellor have sought to reassure the markets and we should give a few days for them to absorb this and settle down. Every decision we take must have a medium to long term view, and we should not be drawn into short term sticking plaster approaches. What we must see however is evidence that the government is still committed to deliver on some of the large investments, particularly infrastructure, skills and international trade which will eventually drive the improvements in the economy necessary wherever we end up. BCC is meeting various ministers, and has been in contact with them over the weekend to try and ensure this happens. The Sheffield President and the Chief Executive have been on local, national and international radio, and in other media outlets, trying to give a positive approach. The EU is not perfect. Brexit is not perfect. Both have opportunities and that means that businesses can grow and thrive in both scenarios. The EU needs a good relationship with the UK as much as the UK needs one with us. What we must realise is that the rest of the world is far larger than Europe and there is a lot to go for. We will be working hard to ensure that Sheffield succeeds in the new environment. Priority number 1 must be to start working to reverse the large and unsustainable trade deficit the UK operates. That means keeping what we have (the city) but adding to it (profitable trade with the rest of the world). Richard Wright - Executive Director Listen to Legal & General CEO Nigel Wilson discuss post-Brexit ideas and plans on Radio 5 Live - Fast forward to 33 minutes in  

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