Hilary Benn MP is urging small business owners in Leeds who have been impacted by the UK’s new trading arrangements with the EU to provide evidence for the cross-party Trade and Business Commission and make their voices “heard loud and clear in Westminster.” The Commission is looking to hear from a wide range of people representing all four nations and every sector of the economy, as part of a collective response to the Government’s trade agreements.

The UK Trade and Business Commission brings together eleven MPs from nine different parties and all four nations of the UK, along with business leaders and experts, to provide independent scrutiny of the EU-UK agreement and trade deals. It is co-convened by Hilary Benn MP and the Chairman of Virgin Group Peter Norris, and the secretariat is provided by the cross-party group Best for Britain.

The commission is due to hold a live evidence session on the impact of the EU-UK trade agreement on small businesses on Thursday 27th May 2021. It comes after economists told the commission last month that small businesses have been particularly impacted by the UK’s new trading relationship with the EU. The commission has also heard from food industry representatives who warned that many smaller businesses in their sector are giving up on trade with Europe because of the additional paperwork and bureaucracy involved.

Recent Polling for Best for Britain carried out by Number Cruncher Politics between 8-18 March showed:

Two-thirds (66%) of small business owners say that now the UK has left the EU, we should cooperate in areas of mutual benefit such as trade, foreign policy and climate change. Only 7% say we should avoid cooperating with the EU altogether.

Hilary Benn said:

“Early indications suggest that it is small businesses that export to Europe which are bearing the brunt of new red tape at the UK’s borders. By providing evidence about how they are being affected, business owners will help us to find practical recommendations to help them recover from the pandemic and EU exit.

“We want to ensure that the voices of small business owners from around the UK, including here in Leeds, are heard loud and clear in Westminster.”

Business owners can submit evidence via the trade and business website, following the link here:https://www.tradeandbusiness.uk/evidence

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