A breakthrough at long last

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The news on the Windsor Framework this week as been a long awaited boost to the business community, says Dorset Chamber’s Ian Girling

Finally, there is light at the end of the Brexit tunnel. A deal over Northern Ireland has been a long time coming.
Clearly, the Windsor Framework is a welcome breakthrough – although it will, of course, be subject to considerable scrutiny and debate. Yet it does offer hope that we can at last move on.
Businesses in Dorset have shown admirable resilience during the economic turbulence of the past few years, whether that has been due to Brexit, the COVID pandemic or inflation and the energy costs crisis.
However, it is undoubtable that international trade has suffered since Brexit. I hope this new deal will go some way towards stabilising and improving the current strained relations between the UK and the EU.
If it succeeds, we have the opportunity to move to a new phase of co-operation on trade, regulation, climate, migration and supply chain issues. It could help cut costs, remove red tape and ease trade friction.
The deal must also act a starting shot for the government to sign more trade deals worldwide, in order to give businesses the confidence to export.
Do remember that Dorset Chamber is on hand to support all businesses on their international trade journey whether new, established or seeking to re-enter markets.
Our team can help with documentation and certification, advice and training. There are many success stories of international trading in Dorset – most businesses see an increase in sales within 12 months of expanding into new markets.
I hope the Windsor Framework paves the way for more ‘made in Dorset’ labels worldwide.
It’s mind boggling to think that this June will mark the seventh anniversary of the Brexit referendum of 2016. There have been many obstacles and false starts along the way – let’s hope the light at the end of the tunnel is a bright new dawn for all of us.

Apprenticeship awards
Don’t forget that the Dorset Apprenticeship Awards, working with the Dorset and Somerset Training Provider Network and sponsored by Superior Seals, are open for entry until 17th March. They are free to enter and open to all people in Dorset that are either on an apprenticeship programme now or have completed their apprenticeship in the last 12 months. The awards celebrate the hugely important contribution that apprentices well as the personal achievements of apprentices and the impact of the apprenticeship programme on lives.
Each finalist, along with three guests, will be invited to an awards celebration lunch on 16th May at Superior Seals Training Academy and will be presented with their trophy by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset on behalf of His Majesty. Each winner will also be profiled in the Dorset Business Focus magazine. Entry is via the Dorset Chamber website.
If you are on or have completed an apprenticeship in the last 12 months or employ apprentices in your business, I’d really recommend entering these awards.

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