03 April 2017

As you will be aware the UK invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on March 29, 2017, formally starting its negotiations to leave the European Union.

In January this year the Prime Minister laid out 12 principles for the UK’s negotiations to leave the EU which was followed by a more comprehensive White Paper giving more detailed information.

The UK’s position is:

  • To control immigration from the EU but offer access to skilled workers from the EU and elsewhere;
  • To leave the EU single market and Customs Union and seek a new Free Trade Agreement with the EU that retains some benefits of membership whilst allowing other trade deals to be negotiated.
  • To end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice over the UK;
  • To create a “Great Repeal Bill” to keep regulations the same at the point of Brexit and amend or abolish them at a later date.

The Government do not want a ‘cliff-edge’ Brexit however the Prime Minister has stated that “no deal is better than a bad deal” so a default position appears to World Trade Organisation rules.
Article 50 is the “starting gun“ that has been fired; we are looking to influence government thinking as well as help prepare for Brexit, but, we can’t do that without input from our business community. Please contact us- we want to hear about and discuss the issues that you are facing so that we can best prepare our case to Government.

So – change is in the air! As mentioned in previous Heart of the Local Enterprise Partnership newsletters a Brexit Resilience and Opportunities Group (BROG) has been set up across the Heart of the South-West with the aim of understanding the opportunities and issues around Brexit for our business community, to share information, research and expertise and to make a strong argument to government about how our area should look once we’re out of the EU.

In addition to contacting us direct there is a discussion and information forum on the KHub called “Brexit Resilience and Opportunities Group”. It is open to all and is being used to share reports, analysis and ideas. It is jointly facilitated by Somerset County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership. (Log-on required). If you have notes of meetings, documents or research that would be of relevance and you are happy for it to be shared please forward it to Hattie.

A short business survey will be distributed over the next few weeks so please look out and complete it for us to ensure your voice is heard….

For more information on any of the above please contact Hattie Winter-  Hattie.winter@heartofswlep.co.uk

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