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 Mike Cherry National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shares his thoughts:
“MPs have at least made some movement on breaking the Brexit deadlock, making clear there is a majority against no deal on 29th March, and a majority in favour of revisiting the backstop.
“Most importantly of all, it is welcome to hear all parties pledge to intensify cross-party talks to find a credible route towards a workable deal, and for all those proposing amendments to try to stop a no-deal being invited to talks with the Prime Minister.
“All politicians, parties, and indeed EU27 negotiators must reflect on tonight and approach the next stage of talks with renewed vigour to break the Brexit deadlock. We must see pragmatism from the EU and UK Government in finding a new centre of consensus for a new deal that can pass the House of Commons, before the Brexit clock runs out.
“By passing the Spelman-Dromey amendment, Parliament has formally echoed the voice of small businesses that a No Deal exit in 59 days’ time is not an option. The amendment does not have any force in law, so a no deal Brexit on 29th March isn’t off the table yet. This vote cannot simply be a symbolic one, we need Government and Parliament redouble efforts to prevent it.
“Small businesses are not ready, and the country is not ready for this scenario. Tonight has seen a small but significant step that shows Parliament falling into line with the UK small business community, which is a small relief. However, we cannot lose sight of the reality that we are still no closer to securing a pro-business deal before 29th March.”