The Business Magazine staged this roundtable with Southern Manufacturing 100 sponsors MHA MacIntyre Hudson, Lloyds Bank, Taylor Made Computer Solutions, and global insurance broker JLT along with invited business representatives


Kate Arnott: Partner, MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Bob Atkinson: MD, InCloud Solutions

Andrew Barnett: Founder and managing director, FliteTrak

Matthew Caffrey: Head of manufacturing apprenticeships, The Manufacturing Co-operative

The Roundtable team

Brexit business bugbears laid bare

John Burbedge reports the roundtable highlights

Brexit business bugbears laid bare

Fears of a ‘car-crash’ Brexit scenario resulting in international trading issues including red-tape complexity, skill shortages, inadequate infrastructure and supply chain delays were some of the worrying topics discussed.


By a handshow, the majority of roundtablers viewed Brexit as negatively influencing their ongoing importing and exporting activities.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, this roundtable covered several rather downbeat potential outcomes from a protracted ’deal or no deal’ Brexit end-game. It took place on November 28, the day when government long-term economic analysis revealed that any form of Brexit – both deal or no-deal – will make the UK economy worse off long- term compared with staying in the EU.

Official figures say the UK economy could be up to 3.9% smaller after 15 years under Theresa May’s Brexit plan, and a no-deal Brexit could deliver a 9.3% decrease.

However, there was Brexit positivity too during the discussion, held at Madejski Stadium’s boardroom in Reading.

Uncertainty exposes weakest links in supply chains

Continuity of supply of EU-produced components for his FliteTrak transportation monitoring products was Andrew Barnett’s chief concern. “We don’t really want to


Howard Clarke: Research director, Morgan Innovation & Technology

Richard Devall: Partner, IBB Law

Sue Flanagan: Finance manager, Oxford Plastics

Jon Hawkins: Technical director, Newbury Innovation

Richard Perriman: UK supply chain development manager, Horizon International Cargo

Tom Jeffery: MD, audio visual specialist SFL Live

Belinda Whiteley: Director, Oxford Plastics

Peter Laurie: Head of client relations for The Business Magazine, chaired the discussion

second source any components currently coming from Europe. If we have to, our relationship with a major European client could be scuppered. To head that off we are opening an office in Europe.”

Belinda Whiteley: “Other businesses are doing that too.”

“Strangely, several European business discussions have also been put on hold, because people don’t know where we will be,” added Barnett. “I thought our B2B relationships would be strong enough to overcome that – plainly they are not.

“Some of those discussions have project delivery deadlines, so if things don’t get moving we’ll have projects coming off the table.”

Whiteley: “It’s hard to put a price on a contract if you don’t know what your cost of delivery is going to be.”

Jon Hawkins: “I can understand why THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE – JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

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