Chloe Smith, Member of Parliament for Norwich North, has continued her series of Brexit-themed roundtable meetings by taking part in a discussion with the local Retail Sector.
Chloe co-organised the roundtable discussion, hosted by intu Chapelfield, with members of the local retail sector, including major high street shops, and the head of the Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) to discuss the impact Brexit might have on the sector.
Participants emphasised that they are looking for certainty as early as possible in the Brexit process; and that consumer confidence and broad economic strength is important to retail. Skills were discussed, with participants keen to secure their future workforce ideally locally, or via an easy-to-use immigration system. Supply chain issues were raised, such as logistics and any import costs; all agreed that Norwich has improving transport links but there is still much to do to support our city’s growth. Domestic policy challenges were also discussed, including business rates and comparative regulation for the high street vs online retailers.
“I’ve always worked very closely with Norwich’s business community, to listen to their concerns and to take these matters back to Parliament. That’s why I’m holding a series of roundtables to hear local employers’ hopes, concerns, ideas and requirements for Brexit. Leaving the EU could have a variety of impacts on the retail sector, and this matters to most people in the city one way or another. I want to see a Brexit deal that makes our economy even stronger, makes it easy for businesses to create jobs in our city, and helps people to prosper in their daily lives. Norwich is a great city with several important employment sectors so this is about supporting jobs. I’m making sure the Norwich economy has the chance to have its say through me to Brexit Ministers in this really important year when the Brexit deal is being negotiated.”