With the countdown to Brexit quickly ticking away, Business Link Magazine invites a select number of the region’s business leaders to offer their thoughts. Here we talk with Ian Baxter Chairman and Founder of Baxter Freight .
We need to be Brexit ready and prepared for all eventualities Ian Baxter is chairman of Baxter Freight, a customer service driven logistics provider based in the UK with a global reach. Here he shares his views on the latest Brexit developments as we countdown the days until the UK leaves the European Union on March 29th 2019.
“Ultimately, if we want frictionless trade with our biggest trading partner and to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland then we will need to stay in some kind of Customs Union with the EU at least for the foreseeable future until some other way around these challenges becomes clear.
“Whilst the two major parties remain divided and the DUP is problematic, there is, in my view, a clear Commons majority for this and Theresa May shouldn’t hesitate to finalise her plans and seek Parliamentary approval for them. Cabinet resignations are inevitable and she may even face a leadership challenge. But the truth is that no one else has a more workable and deliverable plan, no other candidate a better chance of getting their way in Parliament, no other person a greater hope of sealing a deal with the EU.
“While leaving the EU isn’t a path I would personally have chosen, minimizing the challenges and maximizing the opportunities for British businesses should ultimately be the priority for all of us. Since not even Theresa May really knows what Brexit will mean (some doubt it will even mean Brexit!), it’s hard for anyone to be certain what businesses should be doing to be Brexit ready.
“However, we need to prepare for the possibility that we could end up outside of the Customs Union altogether. In practical terms, this means training more customs officers and building up HMRC’s IT capacity and physical infrastructure at the UK’s borders. So, whilst the final Brexit outcome is unclear, we need to see a tangible commitment to urgent investment in these areas.”