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Home / News & Opportunities / Blog / September 2016 (1) / SOPHIA HAYWOOD - THREE MONTHS ON: ALL QUIET ON THE BREXIT FRONT

Date: 26/09/2016

A little and a lot has happened since my last blog back in May.

Now, that might seem to be a contradiction but a lot has clearly happened – we voted to leave the EU, we have a new Prime Minister, a new set of Ministers and two brand new departments, some Political Parties across the UK may now need new leaders, the Bank of England cut their base rate for the first time in years and the political landscape across Europe and indeed the world is a bit edgy.

So yes, that’s certainly a lot. However, there is little knowledge about what our relationship with Europe is going to end up like. We are also none the wiser to when the PM may or may not (excuse the pun) trigger Article 50. Personally, I think it might be early 2017 so it doesn’t clash with the French or German elections but we cannot be sure. At the moment we rest in a kind of limbo but as and when there are developments – the Chamber will be there to update and support the business community.
However, while the last three months have been an unsettling time, the UK and indeed Herefordshire and Worcestershire are very much open for business. We’ve survived the initial shock and now businesses can begin to think positively about the opportunities ahead.

In order to support this growth it is vitally important, now more than ever, to make sure we have the right infrastructure in place locally. Local projects such as dualling the Carrington Bridge and Worcestershire Parkway are crucial steps in supporting local business. By opening up Herefordshire and Worcestershire to other parts of the country through road and rail, we can unlock huge amounts of economic capacity.

Locally we are in a great position to achieve this as the recent reshuffle has seen over half of our local MPs in ministerial roles. Robin Walker MP and Mark Garnier MP are involved in the two new Brexit and International Trade departments respectively. Bromsgrove MP and previous Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Sajid Javid has transferred roles to Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. While MPs Harriet Baldwin and Jesse Norman have junior positions in Defence and Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy respectively.

Our latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES), which received 600 responses, is going to be the biggest indicator of how Brexit has affected the two counties. The results will highlight whether it has affected their investment intentions or recruitment plans, as well as other economic indicators such as sales, cash flow and exports.

Next month we’re hosting a “QES: Brexit 3 months on” Breakfast on Thursday 13 October, 7.30 – 9.30am at the Worcestershire Cricket Club with a panel of senior business leaders who will be discussing how the referendum outcome is or isn’t affecting the business community. This is a great opportunity to discuss moving on from the Brexit vote and practical steps businesses can take to continue growing. Book your place here or alternatively email me for more information.

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Sophia Haywood

Policy Manager

Policy Manager Sophia Haywood is responsible for lobbying, public affairs and representing businesses across Herefordshire and Worcestershire at all levels of government. After graduating with a BA in Modern History and Politics, Sophia worked in the National Assembly for Wales for an Assembly Member and was heavily involved in the day-to-day political life of a politician. Sophia then joined the Chamber as an intern in June 2015 and following the success of her three month placement, was appointed Policy Executive and then as Policy Manager. Since starting at the Chamber Sophia has achieved a Politics & Public Policy masters degree, been appointed a Governor at Herefordshire & Ludlow College and also sits on the local Princes Trust Committee.

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