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Commenting on the Prime Minister’s speech on Brexit, Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the North & Western Lancashire of Commerce, said: 
“Whilst there is a long way to go before we will know the outcome of the negotiations, we are happy that the Prime Minister has at last provided a sense of direction on the Government’s position.
“Many businesses have been preparing for the eventuality that the UK would leave both the Single Market and the Customs Union, with some sort of free trade deal to follow. The Prime Minister’s remarks largely confirm this, and will lead other firms to think about making similar plans.
“We call on the Government to continue working with business to ensure UK firms get the freest possible access to markets around world and that barriers to trade are removed.
“It is also vital that businesses are able to recruit from Europe and the rest of the world without being caught up in an expensive work permit process. That would be a huge regulatory burden for many businesses, especially when their immediate skills shortages at every level remain acute.”

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