Theresa May will make a third attempt to get her EU withdrawal deal through Parliament in the next week after MPS voted to reject a no-deal Brexit under any circumstances.
Following the decision, John Perry, (pictured) managing director of leading supply chain and logistics consultancy SCALA, thinks that a delay would be beneficial to food and drinks businesses.
He said, “While they may trade with other countries around the world, most businesses in the food and drink industry that I speak to agree that their most valuable trade is carried out within the EU, which is now in jeopardy. As a result, of those four potential outcomes, the vast majority of businesses would have opted to remain, or leave but remain in the customs union, at a push.
“Now that May’s deal has been emphatically voted down by MPs, we have disastrously edged one step closer to a no-deal Brexit. Despite the second vote on whether to block a no-deal Brexit taking place later today, this will still be the default on the 29th March unless May can manage to get the other EU member states to agree to an extension in time.
“An extension would undoubtedly be by far the best outcome now for British businesses. Delaying the deadline until at least the summer would give us the chance to come together to campaign for either a second referendum in which the options are properly laid out, or at the very least to stay in the customs union.
“However, even if we still face a no-deal Brexit following a delay, the additional few months would have given businesses an invaluable opportunity to prepare themselves as thoroughly as possible. An extension would allow businesses to look beyond stockpiling and put in place more effective, long-term risk-reduction strategies by undertaking a full assessment of their supply chains, protecting themselves against the uncertainty that lies ahead.”
The UK government said there could be a short delay to Brexit, or a much longer one, depending on whether MPs backed the prime minister’s existing withdrawal deal by 20 March – the day before the next EU summit.
If MPs approve Mrs May’s deal before that summit in Brussels, then the extension would be until 30 June.