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Channel expresses fears over no-deal EU exit

With the Prime Minister finding it difficult to get consensus in the House of Commons for a way forward with Brexit the concerns are growing that it will mean the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal

The channel has largely kept thoughts about Brexit to themselves but the prospect of the country leaving the EU with no deal has urged many to sound the alarm.

With the Prime Minister Theresa May losing the vote to get parliamentary backing for her exit deal there is no immediate plan B with the deadline to leave Europe looming at the end of March.

There have already been warnings sounded by industry figures, including Canalys CEO Steve Brazier, that a no deal departure would hit the tech industry and risk sparking a recession.

Given the latest developments there are now more voices expressing the same opinion and calling on the government to protect industry by ruling out a no deal scenario.

“What’s needed is to listen to the voters and look at the facts. It’s clear that this deal is popular with no one so we have to find a different way to leave while avoiding a no-deal situation," said UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones.

“Theresa May would be in a stronger position if she’d brought people from other parties in on the negotiations. This is a national issue, not a Labour or Conservative issue. The lack of consensus has caused delays in the process which are bad for UK tech and bad for UK businesses generally," he added.

That call for a more unified response from politicans was also echoed by Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry.

“It is time for politicians to come together and urgently find a way forward from this alarming Brexit stalemate, and now, no-confidence vote. The UK is due to leave the EU in just ten weeks, and yet businesses still have no idea what kind of circumstances they should prepare for. Many small businesses would be adversely impacted by a chaotic no deal exit. It is vital that there is a transition period, to give smaller firms time to adapt to whatever the final outcome turns out to be," he said.

He added that the the consequences were not positive for the SME sector, which many resellers rely on as customers driving their businesses.

“Small business confidence has plummeted to its lowest point since the wake of the financial crash. Four in ten expect performance to worsen over this quarter, two thirds are not planning to increase capital investment, and a third see lack of the right skills as a barrier to growth. That’s what political uncertainty does to business: it makes it impossible to plan, innovate and expand," he said.

DMA Group CEO Chris Combemale also called for a no deal situation to be avoided to ensure that data flows across the channel were not impacted.

“In the wake of yesterday’s no vote in Parliament, it is imperative that the Government formulate a plan B and avoid a no-deal Brexit at all costs. A no-deal Brexit would create severe uncertainty for the data and marketing sector and could potentially bring EU to UK data flows to a halt. This would have further knock-on effects on the UK public, with jobs moving to the EU and investment also decreasing," he said.

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