The chaos of Brexit could be dampened if Theresa May’s government provides ample clarity as to how it will impact British manufacturing, its financial sector and its economy as a whole; sectors across industries have been demanding that the government negotiate a transitional plan to smoothen out the exit process.
In a lucid statement which draws urgent attention to the needs of British manufacturers, Judith Hackett, chairman of the EEF group, called on British Prime Minister Theresa May to provide much needed clarity on whether she will be able to provide the country a Brexit transition period which will smoothen the UK’s departure from the European Union.
Hackett stated, British companies are confused about what Brexit would mean for them.
“Secretary of state, I cannot stress enough the urgency with which we need clarity on any transition deal,” said Hackett in excerpts of a speech she is due to make to attendees of an EEF conference including business minister Greg Clark.
With regard to the permanent deal Britain is trying to secure for its future trading relationship with the EU, Hackett said: “We must avoid new trade barriers, complex customs arrangements, or vastly different regulatory environments.”
She also urged the government to recognize the risks of clamping down hard on migration workers, who were a big factor behind the 2016 referendum.
“Government must lead on making the public case that while industry recognizes broader public concerns over immigration, companies still need access to the skills at all levels which EU workers currently provide and which cannot be backfilled easily in the short or medium term,” said Hackett.
She also slammed the government for its apprenticeship levy, which it introduced in 2017, as a means to fund training for workers.
“Whilst the levy has laudable aims, its impact on employers has been disastrous,” said Hackett. “It is complex, companies are unable to access their funds, and many view it as another tax on business. As a result, we have seen new starts collapse, with many companies postponing or halting apprenticeships.”