Members of the Builders Merchants Federation who attended the BMF Brexit Forum (23 January) had a clear message for Theresa May: to go back to Brussels and renegotiate the exit deal.
Over 80 delegates from merchant and supplier companies attended the event. They were briefed on the impact of Brexit on the UK Economy, on VAT & Customs & Excise, on UK Timber supply, and on UK building materials manufacturers before taking part in animated open forum discussions.
Delegates were asked to vote on their preferred way forward. A clear majority, 55%, favoured renegotiation of the current exit deal, with 35% opting for a second “People’s Referendum” to determine the way forward. Only 10% wanted a “No Deal” exit.
Speaking after the event, John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “The sheer number of members attending demonstrates the need for clarity on our relationship with the EU to plan for the future. Unclear doesn’t begin to describe the current situation, but I’m sure everyone took some reassurance from the various presentations, and I would like to thank all the speakers for their contributions.
“Three clear themes emerged from the day. if you are not already preparing for a no deal, then start to plan now. Be agile, one of the presenters identified a completely new supplier as a result of their Brexit planning. Finally, don’t believe everything you read in the media – we are in the midst of a high stakes negotiation after all.”
Presentations at the event were given by the CBI, West Midlands Economic Forum, the Timber Trades Federation, the accountancy firm Mazars, and BMF supplier member, ACO Technologies.