Three wise monkeys, Tokyo, Japan
© Attila Jandi

Brexit is not going well, clearly. And along comes a new complaint, that business has in fact been even more hampered by the government than was thought – or was necessary. An exclusive in the Huffington Post reveals that, before talking to the government on Brexit, trade associations were made to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). This, of course, has meant they have been unable to prepare their members about government thinking (a phrase that could well be an oxymoron). The example given is the transitional simplified procedures for customs: trade bodies knew about it but were unable to tell members, until it was announced on February 4, with just weeks to go. A letter on behalf of trade associations notes that the NDAs mean “trade has a fragmented understanding of HMRC’s plans for no-deal and has been unable to work collaboratively, either with HMRC or across different trade sectors, in devising effective solutions.”

A source told the Huffington Post: “Government seems to be starting to point the finger at industry for failing to be ready on March 29 and I think it’s come to a head slightly that industry is pretty pissed off we’re being blamed for this when the NDAs, and these procedures they’ve hidden behind, have meant that we can’t actually communicate any of these changes that are coming and help businesses get ready.” 

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