The media focus may be on who is in the running for the leadership of the Conservative Party, but outside of the spotlight, Chambers of Commerce across the country are still working with both members and the British Chambers of Commerce to prepare for Brexit and the current ongoing uncertainty.
Since the referendum in 2016, the Chamber of Commerce Network has been working with members to identify areas where companies have concerns and calling for the Government to answer those practical and pragmatic questions.
Adam Marshall, the Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said businesses needed to be reassured that a change at the top in Downing Street did not simply usher in a longer period of “posturing and gesture politics”.
He said: “Westminster has already squandered far too much time going around in circles on Brexit. As our global competitors get sharper and more strategic, Britain is still mired in indecision and uncertainty.
“Drift and lack of direction have real-world economic consequences, brought home to many of our communities not just by high-profile business closures, but by the quiet and growing loss of contracts, investments and jobs.
“The UK is already paying the price for a political system at war over Brexit. Our hard-earned reputation as a great place to do business has been tarnished. And for too long, Government has been distracted from working with business to fix the fundamentals here at home, particularly around skills and infrastructure.”
He said it was vital Ministers averted a messy and disorderly exit from the EU and BCC was doing all it could to ensure businesses were as prepared as they could be for all eventualities.
While the final outcome of the Brexit process remains unclear, the BCC is encouraging companies of all sizes and sectors to consider how they may be affected.
The BCC has created a Business Brexit Checklist, outlining key areas of operations where firms should assess what could change after the UK’s departure from the EU. There is also an FAQ to distil the Brexit Agreement and to help businesses understand what it means in practical terms, and a Risk Register to assess progress on 24 business-critical issues.
Dr Marshall said businesses were angry, disappointed and frustrated by the way Brexit had been handled and the BCC’s risk register addressed the 24 most common questions businesses were asking.
The list has been updated continuously over the last three years to reflect real-time issues and any changes or developments in the Brexit process.
Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce said: “It is extremely difficult for our members to make judgements or plans for the future, especially when the goalposts keep moving.
“Although there are still a lot of questions to be answered, Somerset Chamber of Commerce is here to provide support and guidance to our members.”
Brexit help and advice, including links to the BCC and its invaluable risk register, is available on the Somerset Chamber website at: http://bit.ly/2Wvbv3N.