Brexit is complicated. That’s one thing that is clear. Could a visit by the BBC’s North East political editor, Richard Moss provide local businesses some insight and clarity on the matter? We found out at Tees Valley Business Club’s latest event at Crathorne Hall.
Brexit Talk With Richard Moss
Whichever way your vote went in the EU referendum and whether you’re happy with the democratic outcome, Brexit is happening. The triggering of Article 50 in March 2017 means that the UK will cease to be a member of the European Union come March 30th 2019, unless an extension to the negotiations is agreed upon by the UK and EU.
Tees Valley Business Club chair, Jane Reynolds, personally invited Richard Moss to attend their February event hoping that some insight could be provided; specifically focusing on the potential impact Brexit could have on the North East.
Richard, unfortunately, couldn’t really add as much clarity as expected because things aren’t much clearer than the impression that is by given the media. Why? Because the current government don’t seem to have reached a conclusive agreement. Theresa May is clear that she wants to leave both the customs union and single market but even this isn’t set in stone. She is also pulled in opposite directions by the hardline ‘brexiteers’ and ‘remainers’ within her party. Even the Labour Party, who aren’t handling the transition, don’t seem clear on their stance.
There has been some progress with talks, however, with the main focus on the transition period. The leaking of the Brexit Impact Assessment states that crashing out of the EU and having to go to the WTO for trade deals would be worst case scenario so that is something to avoid, too.
That would also be the probable worst deal for the North East. We export more than we import as a region so higher trade tariffs would see a negative effect on economic growth leading to potential wage stagnation.
Note the use of the words probable and potential throughout – nothing seems certain!
It does seem that Brexit would take a political genius to negotiate and this definitely came across in Richard’s discussion. There were even audience members questioning if it’ll actually happen. The issue seems to ignite a lot of enthusiasm and opinions; at least in the business community, anyway.
It was great to have Richard at the event; it’s just a shame there still doesn’t seem to be anything 100% certain with Brexit politics. I’m glad it’s not just me who thinks the government provides no clarity.
That’s my little sum up of Tees Valley Business Club’s February event at Crathorne Hall. If you’d like the opportunity to network with business people from across the Tees Valley you can find out more information here.
We’ve written about some of their previous networking events which you can read here.