Impact of Brexit on local companies is ‘huge’ says foreign exchange expert

PUBLISHED: 05:18 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:28 31 January 2020

James Feltwell of foreign exchange brokers 1FX  Picture: KATE HORNE

James Feltwell of foreign exchange brokers 1FX Picture: KATE HORNE

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Most of the negative impact of Brexit on Suffolk-based businesses has already happened, a financial expert believes.

As we gear up for Brexit day (Friday, January 31), Felixstowe-based foreign exchange broker James Feltwell thinks the worst may be behind us - meaning 2020 could be relatively plain sailing.

"Brexit will have a huge impact on local businesses, particularly as a large chunk of Suffolk-based businesses are associated with the Port of Felixstowe which by proxy has an overseas international element," he said.

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"However, we believe most of the negative impact has taken place in 2019. This was a real transitional year with Brexit deadlines being ignored by parliament, a change of guard at the helm of the Conservative party and a general election."

With the uncertainty of 'will we? won't we?' now behind us, and issues over stockpiling and trading relationships which resulted in "a strange form of 'Brexit paralysis'", things could be looking up, he said.

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But all the questions raised, and the lack of clarity, including on how it would affect the pound, has had an impact, he admitted.

"Before you know it small business owners have taken their eye off the main function of their business and as a result, the economy suffers," said Mr Feltwell, who owns 1FX, and has more than a decade of experience in the foreign exchange industry, working in London before moving back to Suffolk two years ago.

"2020 by comparison is set to be based on much calmer waters with the Brexit withdrawal agreement agreed and implemented in parliament with a clean Conservative majority."

The main issue ahead will be around how the European Union reacts, and whether they 'play ball' over prime minister Boris Johnson's December 2020 deadline to be out, he believes.

However, he feels a more positive year lies ahead.

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