Businesses visit Brussels

A business delegation from the West Midlands has been in Brussels to discuss the UK’s place in the Europe.

Around 15 business people and representatives from the West Midlands Chambers of Commerce – including Coventry & Warwickshire, Birmingham and Staffordshire Chambers – met local MEPs Philip Bradbourne and Anthea McIntyre during a day-long visit of the Belgian capital.

The visit came on the back of a recent survey by the British Chambers of Commerce that said that most companies want to remain in the EU but with specific powers transferred back to Westminster.

Angela Tellyn, partnership manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said it had been a worthwhile visit.

She said: “Europe is a very hot topic at the moment and businesses across Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider West Midlands were keen to speak to some of our MEPs.

“There were many topics on the agenda – including the UK’s place in Europe, the structure, how to access funding and, also, how to access business opportunities in Belgium specifically.

“There was also a discussion about the skills shortage not just here in the UK but Europe too – which could lead, for example, to a shortfall of up to 750,000 IT professionals alone over the next five years.

“Another subject on the agenda was the gold-plating of EU regulation in the UK that means firms here are hit harder by red tape than others.

“It was a very worthwhile event and extremely positive visit.”