The uncertainty caused by the delay of implementing Brexit is having a negative impact on manufacturing, says Yorkshire-based pyrometallurgical process engineering company, Inprotec.
Speaking at a recent Brexit Roundtable discussion hosted by Wakefield Council, business leaders said that the extension to Brexit would further impact their business. However, at the same time the UK leaving without an agreement would not be in their interest and would create even more economic uncertainty.
Attending the meeting was Chris Oldroyd, managing director of Normanton-based, Inprotec. He comments:
“Manufacturers are largely concerned with the effect of Brexit on administration, cost and the timeliness of movement of materials into the UK, and goods out of the UK, as well as the potential for a reduced workforce.
“There are other concerns which need to be addressed around the processing of goods containing valuable and scarce materials. Products of high technology and new energy are increasing massively and they are all dependent on these materials. We have very few facilities in the UK which are able to return these materials into elemental form and back into the economic cycle. Recycling companies crush, size and carry out some material sorting, but the really valuable materials are shipped to Europe or further for processing. This is not going to be economically viable post-Brexit, and other materials, such as Lithium are not safe to ship over water.
“The UK has to become more self-sufficient in recycling the valuable and scarce materials which we have become so dependent on, back to elemental form and back into the economic cycle. An additional issue which needs to be addressed, is the that of problematic waste, specifically plastic. Transporting plastics overseas for other countries to process is not going to be viable due to additional costs and the fact that other countries will no longer accept these wastes. The UK needs to address the plastic recycling issue locally, so the raw materials are not transported, and therefore gain value from the recycling, the most obvious of which would be by returning the plastics back to its hydro-carbon form. Technology exists which allows this process and it needs to be taken advantage of.”
Deputy Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration, Cllr Darren Byford, told the meeting that with the help of strong Wakefield companies a resilient local economy can be created and the Council is committed to providing the help and support businesses need.
Corporate Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration, Tom Stannard, welcomed the comments and said they would inform the Council about the help and support it needed to provide to local businesses. He told them that the Wakefield First partnership was prepared and is already providing advice and support to its businesses.
He said they could advise on various funds that were available to help fortify businesses to survive the transition into the new trading era as well as provide monthly intelligence reports to give them insight.
Their monthly comprehensive intelligence and data collection reports provide a range of insightful information. This includes staffing issues such as the impact on EU workers, Customs and VAT procedures for imports and changes in export requirements and documentation.