News Release: Boris urged to avoid Brexit Trade Deal “Disaster”

Friday, 6 November, 2020

Boris urged to avoid Brexit Trade Deal “Disaster”

Reacting to the National Audit Office report finding that UK trade with the EU faces “significant disruption” when the Brexit transition period ends in January, Cllr Roy Perry, the Chairman of South East England Councils (SEEC) has warned the Prime Minister it would be irresponsible to place another substantial burden on the regional economy.

Councillor Roy Perry said:

The National Audit Office has said it is “very unlikely” that British traders will be ready for checks the EU is due to impose at its borders.

Of course, the Government has been told this many times before over many months and yet here we are – weeks away from a potential no-deal chaos scenario which could have serious impact on the south east economy – not only with traffic in Kent at the port of Dover.

The South East economy is seriously impacted by Covid, for instance at Gatwick airport and to add Brexit trade problems resulting from No-Deal would result in a double whammy

The latest polling of 1,000 people for SEEC by Savanta ComRes found 78% overall, had a clear and over whelming desire for securing a trade deal with the EU:

  1. How important, if at all, do you think it is for the UK to reach a deal with the EU?
Important Not important
Total 78% 18%
Members of the Public 78% 16%
Business Leaders 79% 19%
Local Councillors 79% 21%

All respondents (n=1,043), including SE England adults (n=504), SE England Businesses (n=278), SE England Councillors (n=261).

This unique polling of over 1,000 people, across three separate cohorts, in the South East region, clearly shows there is concern and apprehension at any potential no deal outcome.

The South East – the UK’s gateway to the world, positioned on the doorstep of the EU, with significant clusters of commerce & industry – has long championed trade, and been the highest exporting region of England.

Yet that will all be put at risk by no deal – so why even contemplate such a disaster?

Cllr Roy Perry, Chair, SEEC (Former Leader of Hampshire County Council)


Notes to editors:

  1. SEEC is a recognised cross-party regional grouping that cooperates with the Local Government Association (LGA).
  2. Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,043 people between 4th and 17th September 2020:
  • 261 Councillors with data weighted by Council type, control, Party and Gender
  • 278 Business decision makers with data weighted to be representative of South East England by Industry & Sector type
  • 504 Members of the Public (18+) with data weighted to be representative of South East England adults by Age, Gender and County
  1. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data tables available at


BBC Radio Kent Interview 

Following this press release, our chairman, Cllr Roy Perry was interviewed by BBC Radio Kent presenter Erika North for their Drive Show –  you can listen to an audio recording of this interview below:

Two men in a meeting | Councils in Partnership - South East Councils