Scotland business

Scottish firms offered more support over Brexit

Car plant Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many businesses have called for a speedy Brexit deal to end uncertainty which they say is putting off investment decisions

Scotland's main economic development agency has expanded its operation to help businesses concerned about Brexit.

Scottish Enterprise has based 160 staff in a centre in Clydebank to deal with an increasing number of calls for support.

The operation went live as EU leaders agreed to extend Brexit until 31 January 2020.

Many Scots firms have called for Brexit to be resolved quickly to end the uncertainty affecting their businesses.

Kevin Brundish, founder and chief executive of Thurso-based AGM Batteries, said many companies were having to prepare to leave, without knowing what the terms of departure would be.

"We would like to put investment into a larger manufacturing facility, but some of the uncertainty from Brexit is making that harder," he told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme.

"The challenge is the uncertainty that we have lived with for a couple of years, so speed is of the essence. We'd like that conclusion reached fast."

What are other businesses saying about Brexit in Scotland?

Mr Brundish's company develops new battery technology, and he said there were huge growth opportunities, but added that he was currently having to manage any Brexit-related issues that might come up.

These included, he said, stockpiling raw materials and working with more UK-based suppliers.

He added: "We've spoken to any of our employees who are not UK citizens to ensure we don't lose key staff."

Mr Brundish said his preference was for the UK to leave the EU with a clear trade deal in place, with a realistic timetable for making it happen.

Both the Scottish and UK governments have launched sites offering support to help businesses get ready for Brexit.

Scottish Economy Secretary Derek Mackay again urged businesses to prepare for the possible consequences of the UK's departure from the EU.

"We understand that Brexit continues to present real challenges for Scotland's people, businesses and communities with the ongoing uncertainty around the UK's future relationship with the European Union," he said.

For the latest business news as it happens, follow BBC presenter Andrew Black's updates each weekday morning on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme between 0600 and 0900.