Subcon Laser Cutting, which provides laser cutting services to clients in the UK and Europe from its Nuneaton premises in Bermuda Road, has been monitoring events closely since the country voted to leave the European Union (EU).
With the 29 March deadline being extended to 31 October and parliament’s failure to pass a renegotiated deal, a so-called “flextension” was granted by the EU and the date was pushed back to 31 January 2020.
Any further extensions to this date now appear unlikely following the vote on 20 December 2019, which saw Parliament pass the Brexit withdrawal agreement bill.
Like many businesses in the region, Subcon Laser Cutting is concerned about the impact that the UK’s departure from the EU could have on its operations, and has sought advice from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub.
The CWLEP Growth Hub has held frequent workshops and roundtables aimed at assisting businesses across the region with their Brexit planning.
Subcon Laser Cutting attended a Brexit roundtable event chaired by Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Since then, the company has been able to call on the CWLEP Growth Hub for help with preparing for life outside of the EU.
Tom Mongan, general manager at Subcon Laser Cutting, said: “As a company that trades goods and supplies parts across the EU, we have been keeping a very close eye on Brexit.
“Like many OEMs [original equipment manufacturer] across the region, we are keen to find out how the government intends to support industry.
“For us, the most important concern relates to potential trade tariffs on goods coming in and going out of the country.
“We supply parts to some of the world’s largest and most high-profile car manufacturers – many of whom operate in EU member states.
“There is definitely a sense among those engaged in our line of business that manufacturing has never really been high up the government’s priority list.
“While the government has been unable to address all of our concerns, the CWLEP Growth Hub has been available throughout the process.
“We will continue to use them as a sounding board for our Brexit concerns and take advantage of the guidance on offer.”
Craig Humphrey, managing director at the CWLEP Growth Hub, said: “Companies such as Subcon Laser Cutting will play a vital role in the future of Coventry and Warwickshire’s manufacturing sector.
“It is therefore crucial that they have access to as much business support and guidance as possible as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
“The CWLEP Growth Hub continues to remain in regular contact with central government and we are committed to providing as much guidance to businesses throughout the region.
“As the UK finalises the terms of its departure from the EU, we urge companies across Coventry and Warwickshire to contact us with all their Brexit concerns.”
James Ahearne, International Trade Hub Manager at the Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Brexit process is now accelerating and the UK is forecast to officially leave the EU on January 31. After this date the UK will then enter a transitional period running up to the end of 2020.
“It is critical that businesses use this time to prepare for the changes that are to come. The Chamber of Commerce and the Growth Hub are on hand to help them with this process.”
To visit the C&W Chamber of Commerce’s Brexit Hub, click here.