The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has joined the British Chambers of Commerce and other business groups in the UK to add its voice to the growing concerns over the uncertainty facing companies.
It comes just weeks after a visit to the House of Commons by local firms when it seemed ‘no deal’ was off the table.
The letter, signed by Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, reads: “I am conscious that, despite the recent efforts of Government to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, we have just over 100 days to go until the UK leaves the European Union on March 29, and I am aware that many firms are already pausing investment, stock piling goods and enacting contingency plans in the absence of clarity from Westminster.
“A huge amount of time and resource being utilised by business which could, otherwise, be spent on investing in and growing our businesses.
“I am concerned that there will be hundreds of thousands of businesses who have yet to start to plan for Brexit and who will not be expected to be ready in such a short space of time.
“Business need clarity, precision and reassurance to bring about the confidence needed in our UK economy. Businesses need to know who and how they will be able to hire staff in future; how we will pay VAT; whether goods will be stopped at borders; and whether the contracts we enter into will be enforceable.
“With such confusion and political in-fighting, by some, even basic business planning for next year has become difficult, if not impossible, for many firms and their investors.
“Research from the British Chambers of Commerce shows that in a ‘no deal’ scenario, many businesses would cut investment and recruitment, or move some of their operations elsewhere. Surveys have shown that businesses will be taking decisions that are right for them but may damage the UK economy.
“As the British Chambers of Commerce Business Brexit Risk Register makes clear, 15 of the 24 top real-world issues facing businesses are glowing ‘red’, seven are ‘amber’ and only two are ‘green’, reflecting both the limited progress made by government and the frustration that businesses are feeling.
“With all best wishes for a busy and productive Christmas recess – and a New Year dedicated to getting answers for your business constituents, who generate jobs, wealth and prosperity.”