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Government slammed by East Mids business leaders over Brexit negotiations

Local businesses won't have time to plan for Brexit regardless of what agreement gets negotiated between the EU and the UK, according to the chief executive of a group representing local businesses in North Derbyshire

The East Midlands Chamber of commerce has repeatedly called for government to speed up negotiations in order for companies to prepare for the UK's exit from the European Union.

However, with just six weeks to go until the official exit date, it is still unclear whether the UK will leave the bloc with or without a deal in place.

And the Chamber's chief executive, Scott Knowles told Peak FM it has caused a lot of uncertainty amongst businesses in our area, which has caused a downturn in investment.

He said: "There could be a resolution to whatever the terms of the UK's exit are going to look like by the end of February, but for most businesses that's clearly too late.

"There has been far too much faffing about quite frankly. The clarity is needed now. In fact it was needed six months ago but it is absolutely needed now.

Mr Knowles' comments follow news of big UK employers such as Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover taking their operations to different countries because of the lack of certainty over Brexit.

When asked if he thought firms in the East Midlands could potentially do the same, he said: "It's difficult to talk about specific businesses, there isn't a huge amount of noise about that.

There's a lot of enquiries from our members and the wider business community who are asking about setting up a European footprint.

Whether that's an office, a factory or anything like that in the European Union so that they are still perceived as being a European business post-Brexit.

As it stands today, it feels like the government is somewhat out of time. Businesses can't really plan for next year. They're having to go with the plans that they've made and making lots of assumptions about what the terms of the exit will be."

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