Brexit ‘no man’s land’ is stifling investment, says JJO

KBB furniture manufacturer JJO has called for an end to the Brexit ‘no man’s land’ which it said is damaging business.

The Lancashire-based company warned that the constant uncertainty is having a massive impact on businesses, stifling investment and forcing them into stockpiling.

The kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom manufacturer has filled its warehouses with £1 million worth of extra materials and components, many of which it sources from Europe, to ensure it has the capacity to continue to fulfil orders.

However, it said that this stockpiling, which has been going on for more than six months, hampers the company’s ability to make capital investment in new machinery to improve manufacturing.

Joint managing director Stephen Greenhalgh, who is also director of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said the political stalemate needed to end.

Talking to the Sunday Times on the effect the Brexit deal is having on business, Greenhalgh said: “We are in no man’s land where Brexit could occur at any time. We have had no choice but to maintain this stockpile of reserves while we wait for a Brexit deal to be agreed and implemented.

“Without the necessary components and materials, we would not be able to meet our customers’ needs and that is uppermost for any business to survive.

“Some of our products are on 12-week lead times and so we have to be one step ahead of the game, because there is uncertainty about what impact a deal or no deal may have on the importation of items from Europe and JJO is far from the only business to be affected.

“At Chamber meetings, the Brexit uncertainty is a constant subject for debate. Politicians need to sort this out expediently.”

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