Brexit - BCC Conference

13th February 2017

With the recent release of the Brexit white paper, it appears that Theresa May is planning to stick to her schedule of triggering article 50 in March. A welcome update for businesses across the country, especially those whose revenue, employees and assets are tied up with European countries.

However, clarity is still needed on issues such as changes to customs legislation, business tax, freedom of movement, supply chain costs and trading relations, which are all at the forefront of business’ interests at this crucial time in the negotiations. A priority for businesses in every part of the UK is to maintain the best possible trade relations with the EU, as well as forging valuable new ones with third countries. This involves sustaining current free trade agreements and keeping tariff and non-tariff barriers to a minimum where possible. Governmental support for businesses dealing with these changes is also essential for a smooth transitional period.

Whilst there are some areas where businesses must wait for the government to act, the British Chambers of Commerce can fill in the gap in the meantime. The BCC is made up of a powerful network of 52 accredited Chambers across the UK. Over the past few months, the BCC has participated in 16 Brexit focus groups with regional Chambers and conducted various polls, collecting valuable insights from thousands of member businesses. From SMEs to major international corporations, the British Chambers network represents a diverse sample of enterprises from every region in the UK and ensures that these views are heard in parliament.

This year, Chamber presidents and business members will be joining a Brexit panel debate at the BCC Annual Conference, taking place in London on 28th February 2017. Liz Maher (President, South & Mid Wales Chamber of Commerce) will be sharing her 32 years of VAT experience from HMRC, Ernst & Young and in Centurion, discussing how current European legislation influences the VAT system in Britain and what a ‘good’ VAT system would look like in a post-Brexit world. Nick Coburn (President, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Managing Director, The Ulster Carpet Group) brings his insight on the cross-border trade implications between Northern Ireland and Ireland, its largest trading partner while Edel Harris (President, Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce and CEO, Cornerstone) will be providing a Scottish perspective. Cheryl Tallon (MD, Viridian Nutrition & Northamptonshire Chamber member) and Phil Popham (CEO, Sunseeker International & Dorset Chamber member) will be sharing their views over what Brexit will mean for British business.

“We are certainly living through interesting times, and as a business owner, responsible for driving growth and innovation, events such as the BCC Annual Conference, provide essential futurological intelligence.” – Cheryl Thallon

“With the challenges of Brexit dominating our daily lives, this year’s Conference is arguably the most important ever for business leaders to debate how we can turn any uncertainty into opportunity and drive growth in an ever changing landscape.” – Phil Popham

A Senior Cabinet Minister will also be giving a keynote speech, addressing recent policy updates in Westminster and explaining the Government’s approach towards Brexit negotiations. A major theme of the Conference is turning the uncertainty surrounding Brexit into an opportunity – an opportunity to arrange new trade agreements, export to new markets and reform business legislation in a way that will allow UK enterprise to prosper.

To gain more Brexit insight from our line-up of high profile political and business speakers, attend the BCC Annual Conference on 28th February 2017. Book now to secure your place.

Our premier partners...