At an exclusive event hosted by National law firm Ashfords, politician and Father of the House Ken Clarke MP spoke with senior business leaders who expressed their views on how Brexit uncertainty has impacted their business and how a withdrawal from the EU might affect them if it went ahead immediately.
Almost all people who provided a view (91%) said that Brexit uncertainty had negatively impacted their business so far or had concerns looking ahead. Responses included:
“We are seeing a cautious lending appetite, effected by the economic swing in [the Retail sector]. They [lenders] are averse to a riskier lend.”
“There has been a substantial reduction in property investment from both landlords and occupiers.
“Business has slowed down and is more uncertain. Whether this can wholly be attributed to Brexit, though, is debatable.”
“Business hasn’t been affected yet. But [following a UK withdrawal from the EU] hiring talent from EU countries and accessing European seed funding for film and TV projects [is a concern].
The event was hosted at Aerospace Bristol and was attended by a selection of business leaders in multiple sectors.
Talking to the group, Clarke described in granular detail the internal machinations of Parliament, how we have got to this point and what was likely to happen next – particularly interesting given he was speaking on the day Boris Johnson announced his plan for a General Election on 12th December. He untangled technical points around the various Brexit scenarios bandied about in the press and talked through a number of scenarios clarifying exactly what the future looked like from where he was standing.
Commenting on the night, Chris Dyson, Head of Ashfords’ Bristol office, said:
“We received a fantastic response from this event and it was a great turnout. This is the first in a series of high-profile speaker events, which will see attendance from other leading politicians, economists and businesspeople.”
“The series will bring high-quality insight to the Bristol market, furthering our support for the Bristol and regional business community. We very much look forward to hosting future events.”