British businesses uncertain over future ties with EU following Brexit

EYEAFRICA TV; London, UK: A number of British business leaders say they’re skeptical and worried about EU-UK relations especially on trade after Brexit happens, to formally take place at GMT 23:00 on Friday.

Some say the lack of information is holding them back from making proper investment decisions for the future until there is more clarity.

In a London-based factory which rolls out 50,000 foldable bikes a year, frames are seen welded by expert braziers, with the finished product assembled by hand.

Special editions like the new electric model have been good for business, helping sales and profits ride higher.

“Undoubtedly the biggest market for e-bikes is Europe. So for us it’s very important that we are successful in Germany, Netherlands, France, Spain, Belgium, all the major markets. We wouldn’t want a disruption to the supply chain,” said Stephen Loftus, CMO of the Brompton Bicycle.

Brompton Bicycles planned early to avoid getting in a spin. Contingencies included one million pounds worth of bike parts and steel components.

And the firm is stepping up setting the wheels in motion for its range of battery-aided bikes to make up at least half its business within the next decade.

The goal is to reach double production in five years – provided Brexit doesn’t get in the way.

As the UK opens the door on a new wave of global trade negotiations, businesses puzzle what it means for products, services and people.

Merilee Karr is the founder and CEO of UnderTheDoormat, short-let accommodation firm with around 300 properties on the books. Therefore, it requires having a reliable network of the right talent for housekeeping and greeting services, she said.

“I really worry for us and any other hospitality business that needs cleaners, where are we going to find the people who want to do those jobs, if we don’t have talent coming from outside the UK,” Karr told China Global Television Network (CGTN).

The government has warned there will not be future alignment with EU rules – for firms like home-stay service UnderTheDoormat that could erode opportunities in the UK over time.

“It’s just not good enough. It’s not good enough that there aren’t plans. It’s not good enough that we are exiting without clarity of what this means for businesses. As we expand to other market, I don’t know what the regulation will look like. We don’t know whether we have to set up different legal entities. How that’s all going to play out?,” according to Karr

The UK government says a future trading relationship with the EU will be settled by the end of 2020. Businesses, however, don’t seem to hope for freewheeling till the end of the year.

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