Though there is still much uncertainty over the impact on the Borders economy of Britain’s exit from the European Union, there are key issues that businesses here should be considering now, according to a former MP for the region.
That is the warning about to be sounded by Michael Moore, a Liberal Democrat MP for the Borders from 1997 until last year, at a lunch event organised by the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce.
It will take place in the Waverley Castle Hotel in Melrose on Friday, December 9.
A qualified chartered accountant before entering politics, Mr Moore is now a senior adviser on Brexit and devolution with business consultancy firm PwC.
“In the months since the EU referendum, there have been many questions posed about the significance of Brexit and how it will affect businesses across the country and, separately, whether it will lead to another Scottish independence referendum,” Mr Moore told the Southern.
“In Melrose, I will set out the major themes which ministers and both the UK and Scottish parliaments will be considering as the UK prepares for the Brexit process to formally begin with the triggering of article 50.
“I will also outline some of the key issues which businesses in the Borders need to be considering right now.”
Chamber convener Jack Clark said he was delighted to have enlisted Mr Moore for the Melrose event.
“In his new role and having been an MP in the Borders for 18 years, he brings a business as well as a political perspective to issues which are of great concern to companies of all sizes and sectors across the Borders,” said Mr Clark.
“The Brexit process may appear to be in limbo, but our businesses know they cannot afford to stand still, wait for things to happen and do nothing.
“They want to be optimistic and identify positive outcomes.”
Mr Clark said that, since the June 23 referendum, two major areas of local concern had emerged – the need for continued support for the agricultural and food-producing sector and the importance to the Borders labour market of the free movement of EU nationals.
“These and many other issues will be discussed at our lunch, and we are hoping for a good turnout, particularly from those businesses and exporters who are likely to be most affected by Brexit,” he added.
To book a place at the lunch, starting at 12.30pm, go to the chamber’s website, www.borderschamber.com
The fee is £25, or £20 for chamber members.