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Deal or no deal, businesses must have adjustment period to survive – MP tells minister

December 10, 2020 3:24 PM

On the floor of the House of Commons this morning, South Lakes MP Tim Farron urged ministers to introduce an adjustment period to help businesses cope with major changes brought about by the trade negotiations with the European Union.

Speaking during an Urgent Question in Parliament on the state of the negotiations with the European Union, Tim said: "I spent yesterday in meetings listening to businesses small and large, locally and nationally, including the aerospace industry, farming, hospitality and tourism, finance and manufacturing.

"They had two things in common. Thing one: they have spent the last nine months completely battling all they could to protect their workers, and to keep their heads above water during the COVID crisis.

"The other thing they've got in common was complete and total frustration and dismay that we are three weeks off a new arrangement of one kind or another, and whatever great contingency plans the minister speaks of, she's not shared them with them.

"Will she allow businesses in this country to do the best for our country by giving them an adjustment period after whatever happens on January 1st so that they are not clobbered by changes that they are not prepared for?"

Responding, the Cabinet Office minister Penny Mordaunt said that the civil service has "spoken to tens of thousands of businesses" through "events and webinars" and that the Government knows that the current situation is "really hard for business" but they will do "all they can to support them".