Responding to the EU’s decision to grant a Brexit ‘Flextension’ until 31 January 2020, FSB Development Manager for South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire & the Humber, Claire Reading said:
“There will be a collective sigh of relief from small businesses that a no-deal Brexit in three days’ time has been avoided. However, they will find themselves trapped by more uncertainty as Westminster fails to move beyond Brexit.
“For many small firms, extensions are doubled-edged swords – yes they safeguard against the damage of a no-deal Brexit but they also prolong uncertainty without actually removing the potential of a no-deal further down the road. A proper transition period remains small firms’ top ask, ideally for two years. We have already seen the length of the original proposed transition period reduced significantly – we will likely have less than 12 months left if the extension lasts until the end of January. Small businesses need to have enough time to prepare for whatever changes are to come.
“These firms have been starved of certainty, battering down the hatches for a potential no-deal that would have harmed nearly 40 per cent of our members. All this has done is cause them to stop making business decisions. They have stopped hiring staff, they’ve stopped investing and they’ve stopped growing.
“MPs continue to be very good at not making decisions about Brexit but there comes a time when decisions need to be made. We are way past this point – we cannot get stuck in a cycle of never-ending extensions. MPs from all parties must come together and use this extra time in a meaningful way to break the deadlock as quickly as possible.
“Small businesses need this.”