Brexit and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic are still continuing problems for UK firms and the wider economy, according to a leading Huddersfield businessman.

Brian Stahelin, joint managing director at recruitment agency Stafflex, said while some companies were returning to some kind of normality there was still much uncertainty around.

Mr Stahelin was speaking in response to the latest analysis on the state of the UK economy.

More businesses re-opening has helped increase demand for goods and services with significant rises in activity over the last few months. Yorkshire was top of the regional optimism rankings in June highlighting strong business confidence.

The latest report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows UK employment rates up and unemployment rates down which is promising news as the country continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Mr Stahelin said: “More organisations are getting back to normal as the lockdown restrictions are lifted but the effects of Covid-19 are still hanging around and causing severe disruption.

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“We have seen that in some businesses more than 16% of the workforce have been unavailable due to contracting the virus or isolating following a ping by the NHS app. The disruption is enormous and we probably won’t get a clear picture of the impact until sometime after the furlough scheme ends.”

Mr Stahelin said changes caused by Brexit were still an issue for many businesses.

“Another important consideration is the complexity of the documentation required to export into Europe, which if not looked at, could have huge implications,” he said.

“What would happen if importing goods is no longer a viable option then are we going to start manufacturing the products ourselves?

“Perhaps we will see a move to reshoring and bringing manufacturing back from overseas due to the bureaucracy and costs involved.”