Suffolk Chamber members quiz officials on Brexit

The ongoing dialogue between Suffolk’s leading business organisation and senior civil servants stepped up a gear when officials from the Department of Business Enterprise and the Industrial Strategy (BEIS) met with local business leaders.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce hosted a roundtable discussion last week to help businesses tease out current Government thinking on hot Brexit topics including how firms might be affected by potential changes to the free movement of workers, visa issues, new customs arrangements and the ramifications for supply chain opportunities.

The packed invitation-only event was attended by representatives from the manufacturing, ports and food and drink sectors.

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber, explained how the aims of the meeting had been achieved. “Because of our lobbying activities, and those of our national body the British Chambers of Commerce, we have a range of really strong pre-existing relationships with many Government departments who feel confident about meeting with us to discuss detailed matters in a direct and honest manner.

“This roundtable discussion in particular allowed both sides to go into a great deal of detail, with many of the companies present feeling able to outline what they are looking for from the negotiations to leave the European Union and during any transitional period once the two-year negotiations have concluded.

“Our business representatives were very clear with the BEIS: Suffolk companies are adaptable and up for any challenges, but what they need is clarity and early clarity at that on the major issues that may impact on their investment, operational and staff plans. It was good to see these businesses making full use of the one of the many benefits available to them as members of Suffolk Chamber,” added John.

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