The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce welcomed around 70 businesses to an online Brexit Club meeting which heard from Saqib Bhatti, the MP for Meriden; James Martin, of the British Chambers of Commerce; Ajay Desai, International Trade Director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce; and David Hooper, of Hooper & Co.
Martin said the Coronavirus crisis had put businesses’ Brexit preparations back two years but that firms needed to ensure they are ready for what is to come in around three months’ time as the transition ends at midnight on 1st January 2021.
David Hooper said: “Don’t wait for the deal. That’s the advice in big capital letters!
“If we get an agreement with the EU, it’s going to be a free trade agreement but there are going to be declarations and there are going to be checks. If you trade with the EU, you’ve got to get ready.”
Firms can tap into training courses being run by the Chamber to help them prepare and, Hooper added, it’s vital that UK firms are on top of the issues.
He said: “If you think businesses here aren’t ready, most firms in the EU don’t have clue. If you have a customer in the EU you might find that they take the attitude that they didn’t vote for this and they just want business to carry on as it was.
“That means if you are a business based in Coventry and Warwickshire dealing with the EU, you are the ones that are going to be need to be ready and have everything in place.
“That’s why I am urging businesses to make the most of the training courses available and there is a pot of Government money available that companies can access to help get them ready. Companies need to use it.”
Bhatti said he believes a deal can still be struck with the EU but echoed calls for companies to get ready for the end of the transition period, while Desai informed businesses that the Chamber has taken on additional staff to help with customs declarations. David Burton, who has chaired the Chamber’s Brexit Club since its inception just after the referendum, said: “There are less than 100 days to go and many businesses have still not got to grips with it. They need to make preparations now and to use the support that is on offer.”
David Burton, who has chaired the Chamber’s Brexit Club since its inception just after the referendum, said: “There are less than 100 days to go and many businesses have still not got to grips with it. They need to make preparations now and to use the support that is on offer.”
For more information on the Brexit training courses, please contact the Chamber here >