MPs urged to find a Brexit deal in letter from top business group

The MPs representing the borough's constituencies have been urged to find a Brexit deal in a letter from a leading business organisation.
The CBI has written to local MPs about BrexitThe CBI has written to local MPs about Brexit
The CBI has written to local MPs about Brexit

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has written to every parliamentary representative in the North West to demand they secure a deal with Brussels which will work for the region.

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In the letter, penned by CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn, MPs are told the North West will be hit hardest of any region in the country by a no-deal Brexit and said the attention of politicians should still be focused on securing a deal with the European Union (EU) as well as preparing for an exit without one.

The CBI has concluded no deal will have negative consequences for jobs and growth and is warning small firms in particular do not have enough cash to mitigate the effects of so much uncertainty around Britain's future trading relationship with the EU.

Labour MPs for Wigan, Makerfield and Leigh Lisa Nandy, Yvonne Fovargue and Jo Platt, along with Bolton West Conservative MP Chris Green whose constituency includes Atherton, received the letter as parliament returns today (Tuesday) amid considerable political turmoil.

CBI regional director for the North West, Damian Waters, said:“It’s sensible to prepare for no deal, and the CBI has hundreds of recommendations for how that can be done in the most effective way for the economy.

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"Preparations of both business and Government might mitigate some of the short-term damage of no deal. We are urging MPs in the North West to back a Brexit deal that is good for our region.

“Large businesses have done, and are doing, everything they can to prepare for no deal. They have spent billions of pounds on getting ready. But the simple fact is that small businesses do not have the resource to understand what no deal means, let alone mitigate the consequences.

“Businesses have noticed and welcome the significant step change in government investment and energy. The CBI is supporting them in those endeavours.

“Some practicalities cannot be avoided. Warehouses are full at Christmas time, the only preparation many services firms can do is to move jobs to the EU, and that trade relies as much on EU mitigations as UK ones.”

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The CBI estimates the value of goods and services produced in the North West could be £20bn lower by 2034 in a no-deal scenario and disruption is likely in 24 out of 27 key areas of the economy.

On Monday evening Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a public statement reiterating his position that Britain will leave the EU on October 31 whether a deal has been agreed or not.

However, MPs who are against no deal are hoping to pass a bill in parliament which will prevent Britain leaving without arrangements in place.