A HORSFORTH-based logistics expert has urged local businesses to keep their eyes on the Brexit ball, amid claims the government will try to reduce public attention on the issue.

Adam Johnson, director of Tudor International Freight, said government messaging was on “getting Brexit done” when the UK leaves the EU on January 31. But he stressed that talks covering almost the entire future relationship between Britain and the bloc were only scheduled to begin following the departure.

He said: “One relevant post-election development was the government’s confirmation that the dedicated Department for Exiting the EU, and therefore the House of Commons Brexit select committee, will be abolished at the end of this month. In addition, media reports have stated Prime Minister Boris Johnson has banned officials from using the word ‘Brexit’, that Downing Street will not refer to a future ‘deal’ with the EU, and that number 10’s dedicated Brexit press team will be renamed, from February onwards.

“The government is also apparently planning to deny Parliament oversight of the talks ahead and a vote on extending the post-Brexit transition period, which it’s committed to ending on December 31 this year.”

He said: “One potential reason for the government’s apparent positioning that Brexit is all-but over is it wants to try and reduce scrutiny of the agreements the Prime Minister will make with the EU in the months ahead. This is because, whether he sticks to his guns or makes concessions, he’s likely to upset significant audiences at home.”

He warned against believing that the Brexit process was now virtually complete.

“It’s not a happy portent the Prime Minister reportedly used a four-letter word to describe his view of business, in June 2018, when asked about its fears over a hard Brexit,” he said. “Our companies and their representative bodies should therefore maintain the pressure on him in the coming months to secure a deal which does the least possible damage to their interests and our economic prosperity, as there’s still much to play for.”