THE decision to leave the European Union has been labelled a ‘painful blow’ to exporters, by the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.
Stewart Dunn, Hampshire Chamber chief executive, said that while some businesses will be happy to see red tape lifted, others will be hit by limits on trade.
He called for a clear plan to be put in place.
Mr Dunn said: ‘Hampshire’s voting broadly reflects the national picture.
‘Some of our members, who have long harboured legitimate concerns about Brussels power and red tape, will be happy.
‘Among them will be owners of many small and medium-sized businesses. We understand the frustrations they have had and we hope the future is more benign.
‘For those who voted to remain however, including no doubt those many Hampshire exporters who trade across the EU and have been putting off investment decisions, the referendum result is a painful blow.
‘Hampshire has very strong links to Europe through its geographic proximity, two major sea ports and regional airport. Growth strategies in a number of our sectors, including engineering, aerospace and marine, are certainly going to be affected but the full extent is unclear.
‘What the business community needs now is a clear plan to stabilise markets and support the economy during the coming transition period.
‘Equally, the government needs to ensure there are free trade deals in place, with Europe and elsewhere, that really do deliver.
‘As we have been throughout the referendum campaign, with our debates and roundtable events, we are neutral politically.
‘At the same time, we will continue sharing essential information with our members on how decisions in Westminster affect Hampshire businesses.’
Mr Dunn added: ‘Now that David Cameron had announced his resignation, we call on the government to decide quickly who will lead the exit negotiations with the EU. Businesses want to see certainty about this as soon as possible.’
Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is the independent voice of local business across the county and one of the largest regional business networks in the UK. It works with over 2,000 individual firms spanning all sectors and sizes of business.