AN ANDOVER business has welcomed the town's MP to talk all things Brexit.

Stannah, which has been spending time and money in preparing for a no-deal Brexit possibility, welcomed Kit Malthouse to its head office in Watt Close.

The idea was to give Mr Malthouse an insight in to the challenges businesses are facing by the Brexit uncertainty.

Jon Stannah, managing director of the Stannah Group, said: "Kit was certainly interested in hearing about our operating challenges and the interruption to investment in the UK brought about by our preparation for whatever Brexit may bring.

"Whilst we manufacture all our stairlift chair and motor units and most of the rails here in the UK, 54 per cent are exported, predominantly in the EU. We keep our promise to customers of rapid delivery, wherever they are in the world.

"In the EU we have subsidiaries and partner distributors who rely on our supply chain to keep their promise to customers. To ensure uninterrupted supply we have had to invest in a stock-pile of 750 units in a warehouse in the Czech Republic.

"That’s £500,000 tied up in stock that should have remained in the business to invest in our product and operations.

"We have had to take legal and industry advice to set all of this up so we do not fall foul of EU, VAT or machinery directives, both as they apply now and may apply in the event of no deal. Our staff has worked overtime to achieve our contingency plans and I’d like to thank them for their dedication.

"We may not have had to do this if an agreement had been reached earlier. Uncertainty is our greatest challenge."

Mr Malthouse said: "We’re working round the clock to try and ensure we leave the EU swiftly and in an orderly fashion and part of that involves me speaking to businesses in North West Hampshire to make sure they are taking all necessary steps to minimise any disruption.

"I was very pleased to visit the outstanding local stairlift manufacturer Stannah and listen to some of their challenges and concerns during the current uncertainty.

"We need local businesses like Stannah to thrive after Brexit, and I will continue to work with my government colleagues to ensure we deliver the right conditions for them to do so.”