No time for bluff and bluster

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EU and UK negotiators are meeting today (Thursday) in an effort to get the Brexit negotiations back on track against a background of mounting evidence of the damage that is now being done to supply chains by the uncertainty being created.

Malory Davies, Editor.

As we reported earlier this week, a new survey by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply has found that 63 per cent of EU businesses expect to move some of their supply chain out of the UK as a result of Brexit.

This represents a significant decline in confidence that the negotiations will produce a good deal for business. In a similar survey less than six months the equivalent figure was just 44 per cent.

There is also a warning from the Nuffield Trust of potential damage to medical supply chains.

Its report “How will our future relationship with the EU shape the NHS?” warns that leaving the EU without a deal “would risk a chaotic disruption to supplies of medical products, and a rise in prices that would push hospitals deeper into deficit.

“Even with an exit deal, failure to reach trade and co-operation arrangements could slow down access to cutting-edge treatments, worsen the risk of vital supplies decaying at the border, and damage medical research in several ways. If no common ground can be reached, it is in the interests of health and social care in Britain for negotiators to start looking for compromise,” says the Nuffield report.

And CIPS chief executive Gerry Walsh warns: “The lack of clarity coming from both sides is already shaping the British economy of the future – and it does not fill businesses with confidence.”

It’s time to call a halt to the game of brinkmanship that is currently being played out by the two sides. It’s time for progress, not bluff and bluster.

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