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August 3, 2017 2:25 PM
By Southampton Liberal Democrats

Southampton Liberal Democrats' Economic Affairs Spokesperson, Adrian Vinson, has expressed concern over reports in the Daily Echo of 'significant financial distress' being experienced by local businesses ahead of Brexit.

Adrian Vinson'It is alarming that independent analysts find that 1,650 Southampton businesses report that they are experiencing 'significant financial distress' - a rise of more than 20% in the year since the Referendum vote to leave the EU. Key employers like housing and construction are experiencing particularly heavy pressures due to skills shortages and rising costs of imported materials, while personal debt and wages falling behind inflation are affecting consumer-based businesses.

'With at least 18 months still to go before the UK exits the EU, falling exchange rates, rising inflation, and uncertainty for their future among the overseas workers who are vital to major sectors in our economy are clearly biting.

'So long as the Tories, with their wafer-thin majority dependant on the Northern Irish DUP, flounder without a realistic exit plan, and Labour back-track on any shreds of opposition to a 'Hard Brexit', the situation can only worsen for jobs and business in a city like Southampton.

'As the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable, made clear during his recent visit to Southampton, only the Lib Dems now offer a voice for sanity over Europe and a more secure future for local businesses and the well-being of the many thousands who rely on them.'