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North East business stockpiling goods to prepare for a 'No Deal' Brexit

MI Supplies Photo: ITV News

A North East import business has told ITV News Tyne Tees that it is stockpiling goods and products in preparation for a 'No Deal' Brexit.

With just three months to go until Britain leaves the European Union, the Government said it will publish guidelines on how everyone can get ready if we leave the EU without an agreement for future relations.

Watch Kris Jepson's report here:

At MI Supplies in Teesside, bosses are concerned Britain is heading for a 'no deal' Brexit.

The firm supplies protective kit to other businesses, but 90 per cent of its products are imported with much of its stock coming from Europe.

That is why the company is now stockpiling goods and products before the UK’s departure date on the 29th March.

We started doing it six weeks ago and we’re going to slowly bring it up to March and then re-evaluate again. When it comes to dealing with customers in Europe and the competition in Europe, if we’ve got delays of items coming into the UK and potential extra taxes we’re slightly unsure of where we’re going to be in terms of cost and delivery to our clients and we are wary about that.

– Alex Ingham, MI Supplies

It is the "unknown" that is causing one business group in the region concern.

The North East England Chamber of Commerce say it is not just importer businesses like MI who could be impacted, but exporters too.

We are a region that exports around 60 per cent of our exporting goods to the EU, so it's not just about the cost of doing business, but the ease of doing business and goods flowing back and forth across borders, across Europe and across the rest of the world, and that ease of trade has allowed our businesses to set up here, to grow, to expand and any disruption to that is obviously going to have a negative consequence.

– Jonathan Walker, NEECC

The government’s own forecasts last year suggest that the North East will be the worst affected region by a 'no deal' Brexit and one local MP says it is up to individual businesses to make sure they are prepared for that.

Goods will continue to be imported. HMRC have been very clear that they don’t intend to stop anything, the processes will continue in the short term, as now as the new systems come in as required, so if there is no deal then literally on day one, nothing will change. So businesses need to be comfortable about that, they need to speak to those officials who they have normal relationships with in their import and export businesses, but there is no reason to have real grave concerns.

– Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP