All businesses need certainty and predictability to operate. This is no different for businesses that have a trading relationship between the UK and the EU. Unfortunately, the current discussions in the UK regarding Brexit do not provide either of these crucial elements – indeed the situation is particularly confusing with numerous outcomes being suggested.
The fact that the UK voted to reject the EU Withdrawal Agreement on 15 January only adds to this confusion leaving policy-makers, administrations and companies with no clarity and decision transparency.
One thing is clear; the UK requires more time to decide about its future. Therefore, at the very least, amfori urges the UK and the EU27 to extend the Article 50 deadline beyond 29 March 2019. However, businesses also need to operate under the most convenient conditions. The EU, with its principle of free movement of goods, provides this. Tariffs and customs controls, which will be necessary if the UK leaves the EU, will impede this and increase expense.
There is far more evidence available now than there was before the referendum of June 2016 and none of it points to a positive outcome of leaving the EU.
amfori calls upon the UK government to stop being evasive and putting its own survival ahead of the needs of its consumers and businesses. It should seriously consider withdrawing the Article 50 process and rethink its EU exit strategy.