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Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty has now been triggered, this means the UK can begin negotiation on leaving the European Union but how will Brexit affect our businesses?
Mark Lawrinson, regional sales director of Portico London estate agents, said: I don’t think the triggering of Article 50 will affect the property market directly from today. In one sense it removes the uncertainty surrounding when Britain’s withdrawal process from the EU will start, but in another way it will create economic uncertainty until we know what deal we will strike and therefore what Brexit actually means for our country.”
Paul Drechsler, CBI president said:“We welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to free trade and European values which should hearten those around the table and set a constructive tone at the start of the negotiations.
“This is a pivotal moment in our history and the time to be ambitious, level-headed and confident.”
Louise Fletcher, partner in PwC’s strategy consultancy business, Strategy&, said: “Businesses and government departments alike need to be agile and able to quickly assess the potential impact of Brexit. This means being razor sharp on identifying future priorities and opportunities, whilst working hard to manage and control costs.
Guy Rigby, head of entrepreneurial services at Smith & Williamson, the accountancy, tax and investment management group, said: “Small businesses looking to scale-up have suffered from the ongoing uncertainty, over Brexit and the triggering of Article 50, during the past year,”
“The EU Referendum served as a focal point in June 2016 and it is noticeable that there has been a wide fluctuation in immediate confidence and the long term economic outlook since then.”
Mark Boleat, policy chairman of the City of London Corporation said: “The government should seek to secure a trade deal with the EU that ensures reciprocal market access and is as close as possible to our existing arrangements.”
“It is also essential that government obtains a transitional deal early in the negotiations, in order to provide clarity and reassurance to businesses and consumers in the UK and EU27. This will guarantee continuity of cross border trade after the end of the article 50 negotiation period and provide a bridge to the date when the new partnership agreement is ratified.”
Claire Davenport, MD at VoucherCodes.co.uk and RetailMeNot, said: “More and more retailers are expanding internationally and this won’t change now Article 50 has been triggered. Often customers are not even aware they are making an overseas purchase, meaning Brexit isn’t going to push them away. With varied payment options widely available and simplified return policies, consumer confidence in cross-border trade is growing at an unprecedented rate and is offering a fantastic solution for both consumers seeking lower cost and available items, and retailers looking to increase global sales”
Matt Byrne, UK Director of fintech lending firm, FastPay, said: “Jeremy Corbyn recently described the culture of late payments in the UK a ‘scandal’. Whilst delayed payments can heavily affect business growth, there are ways to successfully manage the issue beyond traditional high-street lending products.”
“With the triggering of Article 50, the perceived silver lining of the weak pound incentive for international trade is almost certainly negated by the impact of uncertainty, and this is ultimately what will be at the forefront of the bank’s’ credit strategy as their antiquated risk models deny performing and high potential businesses the credit they need and deserve. From today, it is more important than ever that SME owners and start-up founders clue up on the full range of financing options available to them to fuel business growth as banks inevitably further tighten lending practices.”