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Johnson must give UK business time to adjust

December 9, 2020 1:00 PM
By Sir Ed Davey MP
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

British businesses are headed towards a cliff edge in three weeks.

Boris Johnson must negotiate an adjustment period of three to six months with the EU

Exporters still don't know what rules of origin will apply; there is no clarity about how goods will be traded from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, while key customs software remains unready; and food and drink exporters still don't know how they should label their products.

Businesses are expected to completely overhaul their trade with Europe by December 31st, yet they continue to lack crucial information about the oncoming changes.

Unanswered questions like these hold businesses hostage and keep them from preparing for the end of the transition period.

Meanwhile, firms large and small have had to cope with the devastating impact of Coronavirus and the worst recession in 300 years.

It remains as essential as ever to secure the best possible trade deal as soon as possible. However, with only 3 weeks to go, too many businesses won't have had time to prepare.

This perfect storm is engineered by Johnson. He has failed to manage Covid and seems incapable of negotiating anywhere near a good enough deal with the EU. This is a shambles generated by number 10. https://t.co/qIuAQPa9av

- Ed Davey MP πŸ”ΆπŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί (@EdwardJDavey) December 9, 2020

With only three weeks until the end of the transition period, Boris Johnson still has a the opportunity to give businesses a chance to survive January if he can successfully negotiate an adjustment period of three to six months with the EU.

By refusing to do this the Prime Minister is acting recklessly and putting his Brexit ideology ahead of the needs of British businesses during the worst economic down turn in centuries.

I hope he will look at this proposal seriously and give businesses a fighting chance to prepare for whatever is coming down the track in 2021, rather than being responsible for many more redundancies and a new year full of anxiety for millions of families.