THE latest extension in Brexit negotiations avoided an unwelcome no deal scenario, but now means the local business community faces yet another setback in negotiations with very little clarity to help them prepare.

Whilst we now have two months to come to a consensus, the ‘flextension’ also provides for the UK to leave the EU earlier if the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by both parliament and the EU.

Following the dissolution of parliament yesterday, Brexit will remain an important factor for many voters in the countdown to the festive general election in just a few weeks’ time.

The results of the Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey for Quarter 3 were released in late September, showing that investment in businesses has remained sluggish, and that the number of firms planning to increase expenditure has decreased by more than a quarter (28 per cent).

The results have proved the extent of the hit businesses are taking in the ongoing political ambiguity – with stagnation having devastating effects on the economy.

As we potentially welcome a new Prime Minister just in time for Christmas, I’m pleased to announce that we have just launched our QES for the final quarter of the year.

As the private sector’s largest business survey across the country, I would like to encourage local companies to have their say so that your concerns are placed in front of the HM Treasury and the Monetary Policy Committee.

Businesses in Herefordshire and Worcestershire regularly provide the most responses per quarter across the whole of the country – the results from this important survey allow the Chamber to work with local government to ensure the primary causes of pressure are addressed head on. To take part now, visit