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Brexit - reaction from Suffolk and Essex business leaders on the draft withdrawal agreement

PUBLISHED: 13:57 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:33 15 November 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement on the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement in the House of Commons: PA Wire

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement on the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement in the House of Commons: PA Wire

As politicians in the House of Commons debate the latest draft agreement that has been thrashed out negotiators, business leaders in Suffolk and Essex have shared their thoughts on whether they support Mrs May’s proposals or not.

John Dugmore.John Dugmore.

Chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce John Dugmore - ‘this is not the time for snap judgements’

“Suffolk businesses will recognise the huge efforts made across the machinery of Government to produce the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration. “With people’s livelihoods and the future prospects for many companies in the balance, this is not the time for snap judgments. Suffolk chamber and the businesses we represent will be looking carefully and deliberately at the real-world implications of this agreement over the coming days, and expect their elected representatives to do the same.

“After two and half years of uncertainty, this may be end of the beginning — but not yet the beginning of the end. Our firms need clarity and precision on the specific terms of trade they will face in future, many of which are still to be agreed. The avoidance of sudden or multiple changes to trading conditions is crucial to business investment and confidence.”

Andy Wood, chief excutive of AdnamsAndy Wood, chief excutive of Adnams

Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams - ‘The PM deserves credit’

“The Prime Minister has had an incredibly difficult job to do and deserves credit for her determination under incredibly trying circumstances.

“We are however, still at the withdrawal agreement stage and therefore have little on how our trading relationship will develop with our largest and closest market.

“Like all businesses, Adnams needs a level of certainty in order we can develop plans, make investment decisions, create jobs and contribute to the wealth of our region and nation. We are still someway from the clarity we require.”

Denise Rossiter, chief executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce Picture: DAVID BURCHDenise Rossiter, chief executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce Picture: DAVID BURCH

Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce - ‘we must ensure rights for businesses to trade globally’

“Obviously I have not had an opportunity to read all 500 pages of the draft agreement negotiated with the EU so am largely reliant on what is being reported in the media.

“Businesses have patiently waited for over two years to arrive at this point and I am not sure we are really that much wiser as to what the reality of the agreement will mean to them. Whilst the EU is an important market, we must not forget the opportunities that arise further afield and we must ensure that the rights for UK businesses to trade globally are protected and where possible enhanced. However, there is no guarantee the proposals will actually get the approval of Parliament, so there is still the possibility that we could end up with no deal and have to trade under World Trade Organisation rules.

Chris Newenham is the farm director at Wilkin and Son.Chris Newenham is the farm director at Wilkin and Son.

“But whatever happens, Essex Chambers of Commerce will be working to support our members and exporters in whatever way we can.”

Chris Newenham, joint managing director of Wilkin & Sons Ltd – “We await the outcome of negotiations with interest!”

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