Cube MD Neil Clifton was invited onto the BBC Radio 5 early morning business show ‘Wake up to money’ to share our thoughts, on Brexit, the new Government and Corporation tax, he was on a panel of 3 including the Finance Director of Eurelay, Somerset and the Director of Rhino Safety, based in Cheshire.
The aim of the discussion was to understand how the Government and Brexit will affect businesses outside of London and how we will measure the Government’s success.
With both the Aerospace and Automotive industries massive in both the US and Europe, what do you hope the future holds after Brexit?
Neil Clifton MD responded ‘We already have an export relationship with Europe, particularly Spain and Germany. But as an engineering company of our size we have found it hard to grow our export business. There is also the potential for us to open up opportunities with the US however in terms of time zones and travel this may cause challenges for our business.
What would really help us going forward in terms of export would be for the Government to provide funding and support so that we could start to explore the future opportunities to export.’
What’s your wish list for Brexit?
Neil responded ‘We need to move forward quickly with a precise and clear policy on trade relationships, there has been too much uncertainty for too long. We do employ some European staff and for them they need to know what the future holds otherwise we will struggle to retain them on our team.
We also import raw materials from Europe, cast iron from Spain and we need that supply to continue so that we can keep producing the tools needed for our customers.’
What do you hope that the change to a majority Conservative Government will now bring to business?
Neil responded ‘Investment is key, we need the Government to bring back grant funding which stopped two and a half years ago. These grants allow us to invest in capital purchases like new machinery and staff training so that we can deliver productivity, efficiency and remain competitive across Europe.
There was certainly a positive feeling amongst the team on Friday morning that we now have a majority Government that can make decisions and drive a way forward. I’m sure that this was a shared feeling for most businesses and business owners, whichever way they voted.
What are your thoughts on Corporation tax rate and what should be the changes going forward?
Neil responded ‘I feel that the Corporation tax rate is at an acceptable level and I don’t feel that any changes are required.
What’s really important to me and for the manufacturing industry are the R&D tax credits. The relief that we get from this goes into further investment for our business in term of growing the team and also the purchase of equipment to keep us ahead of the game.’
If you’d like to hear the full interview and the whole ‘Wake up to money show’, you can listen here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000cbgs17th December 2019