FSB says small firms are “frustrated and disappointed” by Brexit deadlock

Small businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of progress in Brexit negotiations, a leading trade body has suggested.
The Government has just concluded the latest round of talks with Europe and there are once again complaints that the two sides are failing to make headway on some of the key issues concerning Britain’s departure from the bloc.
With Brexit set to take effect in March 2019, and around six months required for the 27 other member states to ratify any deal, concerns are growing in the business community that the UK is running out of time to reach the agreement which firms are depending on.
Reacting this weekMike Cherry, the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) national chairman,said: “We are almost half-way between the EU referendum and the date that the UK will leave the EU.
“Small firms are growing increasingly frustrated and disappointed that there has still been no agreements on milestone issues such as a ‘standstill’ transition period, the Northern Ireland border and the rights of EU citizens living and working in the UK.
“What is deeply worrying is that there seems to be no progress being made on setting in place the terms and conditions of a transitional period. Securing a ‘standstill’ transition period was the cornerstone of Theresa May’s Florence speech and should be prioritised to provide much needed certainty and clarity.
“With the fifth round of negotiations having just concluded, and the timetable slipping, it was some measure of comfort that there are plans for further talks before the end of the year.”
This week, the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, suggested that there was “a deadlock” between the two sides.

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