Have your say on Brexit progress at FSB and Future50 debate
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For more than 18 months, Brexit has been the biggest issue in the business landscape – but what will it mean for small businesses? And how are they coping with it now?
These are among the questions to be tackled at a special Brexit debate event for East Anglian businesses next month.
Future50 has teamed up with the Federation of Small Businesses and the University of East Anglia to stage the event at the Forum on March 23.
The panel, chaired by BBC Look East political correspondent Andrew Sinclair, includes voices from across the political and business spectrum.
Norwich North Conservative MP Chloe Smith will appear alongside Labour's East of England MEP Alex Mayer, while National Farmers' Union Norfolk chairman Tony Bambridge, FSB policy director Martin McTague and the UEA's Prof Hussein Kassim will complete the panel.
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Among the topics under discussion will be future trading arrangements, the skills challenge, and access to funding for businesses.
The event coincides with the next European Council meeting, at which the bloc's leaders are expected to consider the transitional arrangements that will be implemented following the UK's departure from the EU in March 2019.
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David Howell, FSB East Anglia area lead, said: 'Small businesses tell us that they need more clarity on the ways in which Brexit could affect them so that they can better plan for the future.
'We also want our influential panellists to hear directly from the local business community on what they see as the opportunities and challenges arising from this process.'
Mark Shields, Archant's business editor in Norfolk and Suffolk, said: 'The implications of the Brexit negotiations have been well rehearsed at a national level, but this will be a chance for small businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk to have their say – to explain to politicians what they are going through, what they want to see, and to find out more about what the process might mean for their futures.'
Tickets for the event are now available at www.fsbbrexitdebate.eventbrite.co.uk