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Businesses fear that Brexit ‘will have a negative impact’

James Ramsbotham
James Ramsbotham

A North East business barometer of Brexit views indicates that more than half (52.4%) of business people in the region believe it will have a negative impact on their business, while just 14.1% see it being beneficial to them.

Organised by the North East England Chamber of Commerce, the results showed the top three Brexit concerns are the cost of trade; changes to standards and regulations; and changes in access to EU funding.

According to the survey, two in five business people (40.1%) also feel their business is underprepared, and 7.2% feel completely unprepared.

The survey asked respondents where they would look for business advice on leaving the EU and they cited the Chamber itself (30.2%) as well as professional consultants. The Government was just the fifth most popular source of advice and support for Brexit.

A lot of businesses said they were frustrated with the lack of progress and engagement by the Government and that, as the decision had been made, negotiations needed to proceed swiftly.

James Ramsbotham, the Chamber’s chief executive, said: “There has been a total lack of leadership and clarity in the negotiation process.

“At the Chamber, we’ve been helping our members start making preparations but now, with only seven months to go, businesses are still in the dark on the realities of Brexit and are still waiting for Government to give clear answers to fundamental questions.”