Business leaders debate implications of Brexit and new government

Businesses from Blackburn and Darwen came together to debate the impact of political uncertainties brought about by a new government at the latest Hive Ambassadors Network event.

The meeting took place at Ewood Park and considered how the recently formed government will impact on business, including the effect of the National Industrial Strategy, Brexit and the Northern Powerhouse agendas.

Delegates heard an expert panel debate the issues, chaired by Graham Liver, the BBC radio and television presenter.

Star Tissue director and Hive Chairman, Khalid Saifullah said: “The recent turbulent political landscape has led to a lot of uncertainty in the business world.”

He said he believed future prospects were weaker thanks to the Brexit vote, but added: “We just need keep doing what we do and make the best of the situation we find ourselves in.”

Other speakers included Nicola Clayton, head of business development at Blackburn College. She said the college was working with employers to develop the skills needed for future business needs.

Miranda Barker, newly appointed chief executive of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said business wanted more certainty over Brexit but urged them to be more bullish. “We’re still trading,” she insisted, adding that East Lancashire’s manufacturers were seeking out new opportunities.

Brian Bailey, director of strategy and funding at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said he feared the possibility of a recession as a result of Brexit but believed the borough’s manufacturing strength would see it insulated against the worst effects.

Hive Ambassadors Network is a business network for businesses based in, or who have an involvement with, Blackburn and Darwen.

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