BUSINESSES have welcomed news that the Government intends to leave the single market.
Robert Palmer, who runs Back2Bed, on Canvey, believes the plans could give his business a boost.
Mr Palmer says his costs have gone up by 10 per cent amid uncertainty over Brexit, but hopes things will smooth out following the long-awaited announcement.
He said: “It sounds a good thing, all businesses are under the cosh, particularly independent ones.
“I think not a lot of people know exactly what is going to happen.
“My costs have gone up over the last three months, and I can’t respond like the bigger firms.
“So hopefully with us being free to negotiate with other countries, it can bring more opportunities and get us selling more in the market place.”
David Burch, policy director at Essex Chamber of Commerce, says support will be on hand for businesses to ensure they make the most of life post-Brexit.
He said: “We won’t know for certain what is going to happen.
“But I firmly believe there will be plenty of opportunities for imports and exports, to and from the EU as well as in other nations worldwide.
“We will be doing our best to help businesses as we move forward, and would hope there are no barriers to exporting wherever we can.”
Despite the upbeat response from south Essex, unions believe the Brexit speech will send “shockwaves” around factories and shop floors across the country.
Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, said Theresa May’s determination to “appease the hard right” in her party and Ukip by talking tough on immigration was putting millions of jobs in jeopardy.
He said: “The Prime Minister must not put party before country.
“Trade unions and others have clearly outlined how real concerns over the freedom of movement can be addressed by sensible labour market safeguards without abandoning the single market when we leave the EU.
“Investment in core sectors like car manufacturing, chemicals, aerospace, even food manufacturing, will be threatened as companies face hefty on-costs.”