Christine Jackson (Wright Hassall), Matt Western MP, Ajay Desai (Chamber). Rear (left to right): David Wilson (Glued), Pete McGuire (Wright Hassall) Sean Rose (Chamber)
Western, who had a career in industry before taking his seat in parliament after the last election, told a meeting of the Mid Warwickshire branch of the Chamber of Commerce at Warwickshire College’s Trident Centre that recent interventions by business leaders had concentrated focus on the commercial consequences of leaving on No Deal basis.
He said that he had been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that the voice of commerce was heard in the debate as loudly as other key factors.
He said: “I have been encouraging individual businesses to speak out and working very hard especially with the automotive sector which is so key to this region.
“I have been very pleased to see them breaking ranks in recent weeks and spelling out how they see the business landscape after Brexit.
“The impacts on business will be very serious and areas such as automotive and agriculture will feel the force of withdrawal. I am aware of the work our Chamber has been doing and to hear from the big businesses in the region adds strength to that.
“There are other factors which also play on the economy – such as the US. I have visited there twice and in Washington they are concerned about the way their policy is going in terms of tariffs.
“Trump’s way of working is to do deals on a one-to-one basis rather than collectively. It will be the same with us and that will make it tough.
“Growth in the UK economy has been steady but – as the Chamber has repeatedly said – it is very hard to make investment and expansion plans with this level of uncertainty around the corner.”
Western added that the difference in political opinion around the Brexit deal was making the situation worse.
“The Government is suffering from division and individual strife and there are personal ambitions at play which is unfortunate. We need stability and there could be a leadership election in the next six months.”
Western was speaking at the latest Meet the MP session organised by the Chamber, which allow business to put their issues and concerns directly to their local members. The Chamber also organised a key Brexit Club which has fed into Government and the British Chambers of Commerce at the highest levels.