Small businesses are said to be “relieved” at the prospect of a Brexit deal that would avoid the UK leaving the European Union this month with no deal.
National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Mike Cherry said: “After three years of uncertainty that has stalled planning, hampered investment and slowed growth, a last-minute Brexit deal now seems within reach.”
Boris Johnson now has to convince MPs to support the deal he has struck with the EU, which removes the Irish backstop and will take the UK out of the Euroean single market.
“Many small businesses will be relieved that there now appears to be a credible pathway towards securing a deal that avoids a chaotic no-deal on 31 October and guarantees a transition period, which smaller businesses need to adapt to the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
“Our members are saying that a no-deal Brexit on 31 October, or ongoing uncertainty, will hit them hard - making it difficult for them to trade, invest, hire staff and ultimately survive. With thousands of smaller businesses feeling unable to prepare for a no-deal scenario in 2 weeks’ time, avoiding this outcome remains of paramount importance,” added Cherry.
The security of a transition period, meaning only one set of rule changes in the future and time to prepare for a new relationship with the EU, is vital, according to the FSB.
Cherry said: “We have been here before, however, and although both the UK Government and EU have shown determination and a willingness to progress negotiations and deliver this breakthrough – we now need to see this continue if we are to reach a successful Brexit endgame. The Government and Parliament must now work together to ensure this is best deal for the UK small business community.
“If the deal is passed – focus needs to turn quickly to the future relationship and ensuring that lessons are learnt from the experience of the last three years.
“Many small businesses are just about surviving - not only do they desperately need certainty but they also need the Government to get back to business and focus on meeting the many domestic challenges that have fallen behind Brexit.”
It is expected that a ‘no deal’ will likely result in price increases and longer lead times for vehicles and spare parts.
There are around 1,100 trucks coming into the UK from the EU every day, delivering components to engine manufacturers and car plants.
In the event of a ‘no deal’, there would be disruption to supply chains in the automotive sector caused by friction at the UK’s borders.