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Real world cost mounts as constitutional crisis looms over Brexit.


There is increasing desperation across the UK business community following the latest political shenanigans, which will see Boris Johnson's government suspend parliament for half of the time left before the Brexit deadline.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "Businesses feel like Westminster is playing an endless game of political chess, while their futures and the health of the UK economy hang in the balance.

"Every move in this game is prompting more questions, not just amongst businesses here at home but also amongst their partners around the world. Out in the real world, continuing political turbulence is taking a toll on contracts, on investment decisions, and on business confidence. Three years on, the damage continues.

"The top priority for businesses and the economy is still to avoid a messy and disorderly exit from the EU on the 31st of October. Despite the noise, none of the events of the last few days have given businesses greater confidence that this will be achieved. Given this, it is essential for government and its agencies to further boost support for businesses through any scenario.

"Once again, businesses will have to try their best to prepare for an unclear future as the political process goes down to the wire."

Meanwhile The CBI reports that business optimism across the services sector fell sharply in the three months to August, almost matching the declines seen at the start of 2019 (which saw the quickest fall in sentiment in three years).

Sentiment declined in both the business and professional services sector — which includes accountancy, legal and marketing firms, and the consumer services sector — which includes hotels, bars, restaurants, travel and leisure firms — with both sub-sectors reporting falling sentiment for the fourth consecutive quarter.

The real world toll Marshall points to is nowhere more obvious than in the UK's once world beating car industry.

British car manufacturing output declined -10.6% in July, with 108,239 units produced, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This was the 14th successive month of decline. Production for export fell -14.6% in the month too, and UK commercial vehicle manufacturing output fell -31.2%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, "Another month of decline for UK car manufacturing is a serious concern. The sector is overwhelmingly reliant on exports and the global headwinds are strong, with escalating trade tensions, softening demand and significant technological change.

"With the UK market also weak, the importance of maintaining the UK's global competitiveness has never been more important so we need a Brexit deal — and quickly — to unlock investment and safeguard the long term future of a sector which has recently been such an international success story."

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