Business week: Lincolnshire sitting tight in the Brexit crossfire

May survives another day, but as she doggedly marches her battered Brexit deal back to Brussels, business leaders take another deep breath in, and hope for the best. It’s a ‘keep calm and carry on’ mentality as Christmas deadlines loom and March 29 sneaks its way up the departure board.


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The vote itself was blasted by economists as pointless and a waste of time. Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said: “In all the twists and turns of Brexit, this may prove to be the most pointless and the most short-lived.

“We are approaching the biggest economic change this country has faced in a generation, companies and their employees deserve to have their political leaders focussed on what really matters: allowing people to work and conduct business with the least disruption possible. The attention now must be on avoiding no deal and then negotiating our future relationship with the EU.”

Andy Serkis’ wince-worthy portrayal of a Gollumesque, torn Prime Minister this week was a grim reminder that the country and its politicians remain in a state of utter turmoil, and it’s taking its toll on economic confidence.

Amid ‘tricksy Remainers’, calls for a people’s vote and fraction of sulking Tory rebels, is the subsequent impact on communities in limbo.

The latest report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicts gloom about Brexit is likely to hit the UK housing market, with the number of homes sold and their prices falling over the next three months.

Simon Robsinson, RICS Chief Economist, said: “It is evident from the feedback in the latest RICS survey that the ongoing uncertainties surrounding how the Brexit process plays out is taking its toll on the housing market.”

Business leaders are also concerned about how in-party squabbling and indecision will affect the economy. The pound took a hit when May first called off the meaningful vote on the deal in parliament and again when MPs triggered a vote of no confidence. Sterling rose against the dollar as May won the vote overnight.

Lincolnshire is showing grit. In the headlines this week was progress on the £70 million Lincoln Cornhill Quarter, a new electric car accessories factory in Boston which will bring with it 50 jobs and a surge of investment in the county’s tourism market from budget hotel chains.

For now, like May, the county battles on – regardless of whether we’ll ever see the one Brexit to rule them all.


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