Cumbria Chamber of Commerce is demanding answers to 20 critical Brexit-related questions facing businesses.
It is writing to all six of the county’s MPs asking them to put pressure on ministers to provide clarity to help businesses plan for Brexit more effectively.
The questions relate to tariffs, rules of origin, borders and customs, inspections, declarations, business travel, regulatory agencies, dispute resolution and other issues should the UK leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement on March 29th.
The Chamber’s Chief Executive, Rob Johnston, said: “Many of the unanswered questions reflect fundamental aspects of how companies operate.
“For example, we need to know what trade agreements will be in place with countries outside the EU, whether and how firms can move skilled staff between the UK and EU, and which regulations they will need to follow.
“We know from our survey of Cumbrian businesses that nearly half haven’t started Brexit preparations yet. In most cases, this is because they can’t access the information they need.”
He added: “The Chamber hasn’t taken a position for or against Brexit because we know businesses are divided on the issue.
“But the absence of clarity on key questions is stifling investment and growth and is damaging businesses, which is why Cumbria Chamber has joined Chambers across the UK to demand that ministers provide unambiguous guidance.”
Cumbria Chamber has organised a Brexit Breakfast Briefing for businesses in partnership with the law firm Muckle LLP.
The free event takes place at Carlisle Racecourse on Thursday February 28th. Businesses can register to attend here.
Rob said: “With the clock ticking inexorably towards March 29th, this event is highly relevant to many businesses.
“Even if your business doesn’t import or export you may be affected by Brexit if your suppliers do or if you supply another business that does.”
The Chamber’s Brexit-preparedness survey remains open.
If you haven’t completed it already, we’d love to get your input.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has asked us to feed in the results to help shape the support they offer to businesses. Although we plan to publish the survey’s findings, all responses are anonymous.