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Chair statement on Businesses and Brexit preparedness

8 December 2020

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Chair comments on businesses and Brexit preparedness following an evidence session this morning with witnesses from sectors including food and drink, financial and related professional services, plastics, and the automotive industry.

Darren Jones, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee said: “During our evidence hearing this morning, we heard of the significant challenges which businesses are facing in dealing with the impact of Covid 19 and in preparing for the end of the transition period.

“While Britain’s businesses are hoping that a Brexit deal will be reached, companies across many sectors will face disruption from 1 January. This morning we heard evidence which pointed, even in the event of a Brexit deal, to potential food shortages and price rises, and the threat of heaping significant costs onto our car industry, and also of concerns around financial services and the wider future relationship.

“Our industry witnesses this morning were unanimous in wanting clarity from a UK-EU deal, on crucial areas such as ‘rules of origin’. It was also made clear that businesses will need time to adjust to any deal and that there should be pragmatism on both UK and EU sides to ensure disruption is minimised and trade continues to flow”.

The session is available to watch again here on Parliament TV. The hearing examined - with witnesses from sectors including food and drink, financial and related professional services, plastics, and the automotive industry - issues including the current position of these sectors in relation to Brexit preparedness, issues around the potential impact of border delays, the level of Government support and engagement for business preparedness, and the potential impact of no deal.

Evidence session: Businesses and Brexit preparedness, 10.30am, Tuesday 8 December

Witnesses

From 10.30am

  • Ian Wright CBE, Chief Executive, Food and Drink Federation;
  • Miles Celic, Chief Executive, TheCityUK
  • Lloyd Mulkerrins, Policy Manager, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
  • Philip Law, Director General, British Plastics Federation

Started at around 11.55am

  • Joe Marshall, Senior Researcher, Institute for Government
  • Jess Sargeant, Senior Researcher, Institute for Government

Further information

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