Keep assets in cash ready for no-deal Brexit, says chamber head

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:29 01 August 2019

Ian MacQueen – Chairman, Exmouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce

Ian MacQueen - Chairman, Exmouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce

Northcliffe Media Ltd.

There are many 'unanswered questions' about a no-deal Brexit, according to the chairman of Exmouth's Chamber of Commerce.

With the looming possibility of leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement in place, Exmouth traders are bracing themselves for what it will mean for their businesses.

If negotiations between the UK government and the EU are unsuccessful until the October 31 deadline, Britain could leave the EU without a deal on immigration, trade, freedom of movement, laws and the Irish border.

Ian MacQueen, chairman of Exmouth's chamber of commerce, said there is 'very little' small businesses can do to counter the effects of a no-deal Brexit.

He advised independent business owners to keep costs under control, their cash flow liquid and build up their bank accounts 'if at all possible'.

Mr MacQueen said: "Unless they are directly importing from Europe they will have to abide by whatever the terms are in place from their wholesaler, cash and carry or manufacturer.

"If they pay for goods in Euros then they will already have experienced the drop that occurred after the referendum result although with no deal then there may well be further falls.

"Buying currency forward can be a hedge against this in the short term."

He says questions have still to be answered over issues like the employment of foreign nationals and UK border arrangements.

Mr MacQueen advised traders to look at the British Chamber of Commerce's website which has a Brexit checklist.

This can be found by going to www.britishchambers.org.uk

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