Commenting on the result of last night's Brexit vote in Parliament, Chris Fletcher (pictured above), Campaigns and Marketing Director at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said:
"The result of the vote last night probably did not come as a huge surprise to many. Unfortunately though rather than help clarify anything around the whole Brexit debate, things have been cast into even murkier waters with no end in sight except the increasing probability of a no-deal exit on 29th March.
"It is very easy to get sucked into all manner of speculation, flow chart outcomes and trying to retro fit solutions to two and a half years' worth of a problem that is still unresolved. Many businesses are beyond frustration and many are unprepared for what may happen.
"It is a sorry state of affairs when basic business planning is turned into a political weapon – to plan for no deal isn’t a comment on the rights and wrongs of Brexit – it is just basic economic and business sense. Those that are critical of this will probably never have been in a position as responsible as an employer. However too many business owners have now been left with no option but to prepare for the worst.
Responding to the Parliamentary defeat of the Meaningful Vote on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, Dr Adam Marshall (pictured below), Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“There are no more words to describe the frustration, impatience, and growing anger amongst business after two and a half years on a high-stakes political rollercoaster ride that shows no sign of stopping. Basic questions on real-world operational issues remain unanswered, and firms now find themselves facing the unwelcome prospect of a messy and disorderly exit from the EU on March 29th.
“The over-riding priority for both government and Parliament must now be to avoid the clear danger that a ‘no deal’ exit on the 29th of March would pose to businesses and communities across the UK. Every second that ticks by sees more businesses spending money on unwanted changes, activating contingency plans or battening down the hatches and halting investment, as they try to anticipate a future that is no clearer now than it was at the time of the referendum result.
“Businesses will take a dim view of more shuttle diplomacy and last-minute bargaining, which have so far done nothing to end the political impasse. The government must now urgently set out in concrete terms what it will do to avoid the damage that a messy and disorderly exit on March 29th would cause to businesses, communities, and the UK economy.”