With the Brexit deadline of 31st October fast approaching, the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce has invited all small and medium-sized businesses operating on the island to free advice sessions designed to help them “prepare” for the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU) on Halloween.
Although Prime Minister Boris Johnson was legally obliged to write to the bloc requesting an extension if the newly negotiated Brexit deal hadn’t been approved by the House of Commons two weeks before the Brexit deadline, he wrote a further letter insisting that more Brexit delays would be a “mistake”.
The Isle of Wight heavily voted in favour of Brexit back in June 2016. A majority of 62% voted for Leave, and businesses on the island are being equipped with guidance and support on the upcoming Brexit deadline, based around international trade. Toby Brown, of the Isle of Wight Chamber, said that there appears to be a “mixed bag” of businesses that have and haven’t fully prepared for Brexit.
Mr Brown said that while some have been “proactive”, others have been “a bit blasé” and are happy to “play it out” and “see how it goes”. It’s surprising that some firms have been so relaxed about Brexit given the economic uncertainty that has reigned across the UK since the referendum. The pound has been exceptionally volatile in the forex markets. For those who don’t know what is forex trading as a concept, it’s the conversion of one fiat currency into another. Pound sterling has been exceptionally weak against the US dollar in the last year or so, with the prospect of a no-deal Brexit still lingering in the background.
Nevertheless, the prospects of Prime Minister Johnson’s newly negotiated Brexit deal getting through Parliament look somewhat better than Theresa May’s former deal, with the island’s MP Bob Seely publicly endorsing Johnson’s latest agreement. Seely said that the more he is “reading about [the withdrawal bill], the happier [he is]” to vote for it in the House of Commons during the second reading of the bill and deliver a “good outcome” for the UK.