Brexit Extension: 'To result in more relocations'

British business leaders reacted with a mixture of relief and discomfort after the EU27 agreed to a further delay, until the end of October, in the UK's departure date from the bloc.

There was relief because the concession meant the end to the prospect of an immediate, no-deal Brexit on Friday night. And discomfort because it meant the uncertainty over the long-term future would continue.

TheCityUK: Brexit extension must not be another hollow postponement

Miles Celic, CEO of the financial services lobby group TheCityUK, said that this uncertainty could only mean that more jobs would relocate abroad."The UK should embrace the extension offered, but recognise that this cannot be just another hollow postponement. It must be used to deliver a deal which allows negotiations on the future relationship to move forward," he said."Prolonged uncertainty will mean more jobs, assets and investment leaving the UK, with the real winners being financial centres outside the EU and the biggest losers being customers and citizens on both sides of the Channel.”

Continuing Brexit uncertainty will result in jobs moving overseas

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, agreed that the continuing uncertainty would result in more firms moving jobs overseas.“Sustained uncertainty is leaving business with its hands tied, reluctant to make everyday decisions on recruitment, expansion, and investment. While we welcome the avoidance of a catastrophic no-deal Brexit for now, a long extension should not mean we continue to kick the can down the road," she said.“Day by day, as uncertainty persists, so does the threat of more businesses moving jobs and operations away from the UK. It is vital that politicians in the UK and EU come together to agree a withdrawal deal that puts people and business first and provides much needed certainty.

CBI: Brexit needs a fresh start

Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI's director-general, said: "This new extension means that an imminent economic crisis has been averted, but it needs to mark a fresh start. More of the same will just mean more chaos this autumn."Businesses will today be adjusting their no-deal plans, not cancelling them. For the good of jobs and communities across the country, all political leaders must use the time well. Sincere cross-party collaboration must happen now to end this crisis."

Institute of Directors on Brexit: Politicians need to build concensus 

Edwin Morgan, interim director-general of the Institute of Directors, said that while the extension removed the immediate threat of a no-deal Brexit, it would bring little comfort for businesses "when so much remains up in the air".
He added: "Firms don't want to see more of the same. They want to see politicians build consensus around a way forward that finally breaks the cycle of indecision.

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"Westminster absolutely cannot feel the pressure is off now - quite the opposite: we need an increased sense of urgency towards finding a solution."

British Chambers of Commerce: UK government must refocus on pressing domestic issues

Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said businesses' frustration with the seemingly endless political logjam had be come "palpable"."For most businesses, the 'flextension' agreed by the European Council will be preferable to deadlines that are repeatedly moved forward at the last possible moment," he said."This extension buys parliament some time to come to a consensus, but they can't afford to squander it. Politicians must urgently agree on a way forward."It would be a disaster for business confidence and investment if a similar late-night drama is played out yet again in October.
"Our businesses and our communities need answers to plan for the future, and the government must return its focus to pressing domestic issues, which have been ignored or marginalised for too long."

Federation of Small Businesses on Brexit: Companies are being "driven to despair"

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said companies were being "driven to despair" by the political crisis. "We have seen some cross-party engagement in recent days to try and end the stalemate. There should be no let-up in attempts to deliver the circuit breaker needed to secure a solution to this crisis," he said."Extensions do avoid a cliff-edge in the short term, and dodging the economic harm of no deal at 11pm tomorrow will be a huge relief for many small businesses."What is a problem, however, is that these extensions provide no comfort that there will be an end to the debating, dithering and delay."Subscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory