Update on Brexit priorities – keeping Britain at Full Strength
20 February 2019
It has been a busy couple of weeks on Brexit. Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive of our member Mace represented businesses’ no deal concerns at the London All Party Parliamentary Group and London First campaigners took our “Stop the Clock” calls directly to Westminster.
Bringing the genuine cost of no deal to life for the APPG, Mark highlighted that every week of delay in bringing goods and materials into the UK from the EU would cost his supply chain £2m. Mark highlighted that 40% of workers on site today are European, but that this has started to decline. A message that was reinforced in this week’s news that the number of EU workers in the UK continues to decline, with a record number of job vacancies going unfilled. The APPG’s discussion also touched on the right salary threshold for the future immigration system, with consensus from the speakers that it needed to come down to below £30K.
Speaking to the Evening Standard after the event, Mark said: “Disruption to the smooth flow of goods and materials through UK ports could have a significant impact on the construction sector, resulting in lost productivity and delays to crucial infrastructure and housing projects. The threat of leaving the EU without a deal also causes uncertainty for our people, many of whom are EU nationals who are concerned about securing their right to live and work in the UK after Brexit. The longer ‘No Deal’ is left on the table, the harder it is for us to plan for the future.”
Jasmine Whitbread supported this stance, commenting: “Every day a ‘no-deal’ Brexit is left on the table, is another day that employers are forced to make hard decisions about supply chains, delaying investment and hiring. Politicians need to heed the warnings from employers and admit it’s time to stop the clock, revoke Article 50 and protect people’s jobs.”
Following on from the APPG, and ahead of last week’s Valentine’s Day votes, our team took our “Stop the Clock” calls down to the House of Commons, staging a protest against a no deal outcome and distributing leaflets highlighting the impact on business of this continued threat.
Our team engaged more than 1,000 people in the Westminster area during the day and footage of the team crossing the bridge to Westminster clearly showing our “Stop the Clock” call was featured on the 6 pm and 10 pm BBC News. We’ll continue to emphasise the potential impact of no deal in the media in the weeks to come. And you can show your support for this call by using our shareable graphics on social media.
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