Fleur Anderson meets with local people and businesses to discuss impact
Fleur Anderson hosts virtual meeting on No Deal Brexit
With negotiations with the EU reaching a critical stage, Labour MP for Putney, Fleur Anderson, has met virtually with local people, businesses, families and community organisations to discuss the impact of a No Deal Brexit on Wandsworth.
With the transition period due to end on 31 December, no agreement has been reached with the European Union on the future relationship despite months of negotiations. An EU summit on Thursday 19 November has been identified as the final deadline to reach an agreement.
A No Deal Brexit is forecast to have a huge implications for individuals and businesses in Wandsworth, and Ms Anderson says she is eager to understand the impact it would have.
Speaking after the meeting, Ms Anderson said: “It has been very depressing to hear about the dreadful impact that the uncertainty about negotiations is already having, and that either a deal or No Deal will have. It is clear that businesses feel that No Deal is the worst outcome, and that they are not being given enough information about either outcome. I hope for the sake of Putney businesses and residents that a deal is agreed even at this late stage, but this is the lesser of two evils.
“In the December 2019 General Election, I campaigned on a vigorously pro-European platform and one of the chief concerns I encountered on the doorstep was the social and economic impact Brexit will have on our businesses and communities in Putney, Roehampton and Southfields and across the UK. Labour are continuing to expose this in the House of Commons.
“With the world gripped by the drama of the US Presidential Elections and ongoing fight against COVID-19, it is barely being reported on that we are entering last critical stage of the UK-EU negotiations on post-Brexit trade. Once again, the Government has left it to the last minute and not only is this irresponsible, it became clear in the meeting this morning that the uncertainty is crushing businesses and families in Wandsworth.”
Research by Best for Britain has shown that in Wandsworth, 39% of jobs are in sectors identified as being severely impacted by a No Deal Brexit, businesses in attendance at the meeting were deeply concerned about the impact the uncertainty is having on prices, export and import duties and future business with European partners.
One local business owner said: “quite simply there is no information coming from government for business…this uncertainty layered on top of the uncertainty caused by random lockdowns is crippling small businesses which rely on hospitality.”
Another local owner of a logistics company said, “At this stage, whether or not the government reaches a thin deal with the EU makes no difference to our business. It is too late for us. The uncertainty has made it impossible to plan for next year and we are having to sell the business in order to save jobs.”
Those who work in the arts and creatives industry were also deeply concerned. One attendee noted that the way Brexit has been handled had had a hugely adverse effect on the relationship with fellow creatives, and with freedom of movement now removed the additional paperwork is going to make touring in Europe nearly impossible.
Several participants on the call were either European or had relatives who were EU citizens, and concerns were raised about what No Deal would mean for securing settled status in the UK after 31 December, and that the Government will not provide physical proof of settled status.
Other concerns raised included changes in employment laws and protections for workers, how a No Deal might affect inflation, and the impact it would have of staffing levels of nurses, doctors and carers, especially during a pandemic.
Citizens Advice Wandsworth are running a series of advice sessions on EU settled status in English, Romanian and Italian and for families and elderly people. More information is here.
November 13, 2020
Putney MP Holds Meeting With Local Business Leaders