Brexit: Business on a knife edge

Dr Gordon Fletcher, business and retail expert from the University of Salford Business School comments on how business is feeling in the wake of the no confidence vote in Theresa May.

Dr Fletcher said: “Any business facing a Christmas with reduced footfall on the high street, a weak pound (very much tied to Brexit) and a wobbly stock market has reason to be nervous. Just today Bonmarché and House of Fraser have announced profit warnings or trading difficulties, but it is not just the High Street which has reason to worry.

“The internal politics of the Conservative party have played out and the Prime Minster is now simultaneously a human shield for those in her party who have dreams of leading as well as being given a year long hall card to carry on battling for an unwinnable compromise.

”For the economy and business Brexit has offered few certainties which means a PM with twelve months protection from internal revolt may appear as a form of reassurance.

”However, 48 hours of government inaction also brings the real prospect of no deal ever closer. Despite the claims of hard-line Brexiters about the benefits of no deal being two days closer to uncertainty is no reassurance.

”So we return to the seemingly unsolvable political puzzle of the DUP’s view on the Irish border in contrast to the majority of Northern Ireland Brexit voters. With this knife edge uncertainty in the UK it will only take an unexpected change in the weather to push some businesses over the edge. For those who fall victim, the meaningful vote – when it happens – will compete with the political farces already available on the streaming media services.”