Skip to content
Northern Powerhouse European Union

Brexit weekly digest 15 April

Despite pulling the UK away from the cliff edge of a no deal EU exit, the UK government is still well and truly divided on how we will leave the trading bloc. The EU has granted up to a six-month extension. The Prime Minister is hoping to accelerate negotiations and leave the EU before the European Parliament elections, but the chances of that are starting to fade.

British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt will seek to reassure Toyota that the government is focused on avoiding a no-deal exit from the European Union, ensuring tariff-tree trade between Britain and the EU, in an attempt to pacify the Japanese carmaker.

For companies that have been preparing for a sudden exit, the extension is no more than a temporary reprieve. "It's a bit of uncertainty that isn't helpful," says Andrew Graham. His 70-year-old company, Graham and Brown Wallpaper, has been stockpiling raw materials for months at its factory in Blackburn.  "Quite frankly, we could do with knowing where we're going," he told the BBC.

The accountancy group Deloitte has warned that worries over the long-term impact of Brexit are mounting, with more than half of finance bosses expecting to rein in recruitment and spending.  Deloitte’s latest quarterly survey of chief financial officers (CFOs) found only 13% were more optimistic about the prospects for their company than they were three months ago.

The boss of Scotland's busiest airport  has said the industry is currently "not a comfortable place to be", because of high taxes and Brexit uncertainty. Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said he was expecting a solid summer, but insisted the Scottish government must cut air passenger duty. He also said certainty over the UK's deal for leaving the EU was needed so airlines could invest confidently.

British Steel is seeking a £100m loan from the government in order to meet EU emission rules. Previously, the company could have used EU-issued carbon credits to settle its 2018 pollution bill.  However, the steel maker has been affected by a European Union decision to suspend UK firms' access to free carbon permits until a Brexit withdrawal deal is ratified.

Share this post