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Local businesses voice Brexit concerns

Firms aired their views about impact of referendum result during talk

Chris Ord

Reporter:

Chris Ord

How will you  vote in the EU Referendum on June 23?

THE impact of Brexit on local businesses was discussed during a talk at Shaw House last week.

Lord Newby, former spokesman for Her Majesty’s Treasury in the Lords, talked with local businesspeople about how they think Brexit is going to affect their trade.

The meeting, chaired by Parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Newbury, Judith Bunting, heard the views of businesspeople representing a range of industries, from farming and racehorse training to construction and the manufacture of scientific equipment.

Lord Newby gave his views as to what he thinks Brexit could mean for the future of business in Britain, particularly if it is not handled correctly.

Ms Bunting said: “With such a range of interests in the room, debate was well informed and very varied.

“Farmers are worried about losing subsidies and the environment protections provided by the EU, while one director of a company that exports around the world said he feels quite happy with the Brexit situation. Most people who came, import goods critical to their business and are feeling the pinch.”

Racehorse trainer Geoffrey Deacon from Compton said: “The evening was a really useful chance to talk over all aspects of Brexit, voice the concerns we have for our own businesses.”

Jon Gage, director of Rivar, told how Brexit has started to impact his business. He said: “As an importer of landscaping materials, the decline in the value of the pound is making our company pass on significant price increases to customers.

“Up to year end, we will support our customers who may be committed to working on fixed-price contracts. However, in the new year some of our products will have a 10-per-cent increase applied to them.”

The event was part of the Liberal Democrats’ National Brexit Consultation and businesspeople can still have their say at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/JTN73VY.

Ms Bunting said: “As a Liberal Democrat, I believe that Britain is better off in Europe, but my immediate priority is to help ensure local businesses do not pay the price of a rushed withdrawal from the EU.”

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