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Vince Cable Holds Q&A Session With Kendal Businesses

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has been in Kendal, holding a Q&A session with local businesses.

The session was held on Thursday night (9th November) at the Factory Tap, where Mr Cable took questions from a range of businesses, including a solicitor's firm and a hospitality business. 

Many of the guests were concerned about Brexit and the effect of losing migrant workers. 

Mr Cable said "The biggest issue that's emerged is Brexit. Lots of companies are telling me is that they're already beginning to worry about the supply of labour. 

"We've got nearly full employment in this area. They're very dependent in say, the hospitality sector, on workers from Eastern Europe; they make the economy tick, and many of them are drifting away because they don't feel welcome anymore and it's seriously affected the viability of companies.

"We think it absolutely disastrous to risk crashing out [of the EU]  and cause massive disruption.  Ideally we would prefer to stay in and we believe people should have a vote as to whether they want to press ahead with all of this or have an exit from Brexit.

"The government is not listening on immigration. The PM is obsessed with cutting immigration".

He also took a swipe at Labour, saying they were not "giving any help" on Brexit.  

Mr Cable said he was "One of the people who gets things done for business", pointing towards his five years as Business Secretary in the coalition government between 2010 and 2015.

Mr Cable was joined by former Liberal Democrat leader and Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron, who said: "I think most people, even if they don't agree with the Liberal Democrats, kind of agree that Vince Cable is the MP who most 'gets' business and understands the economy. It's very clear that the businesses here respect Vince."  

Mr Cable was asked about the potential effect on business of the Northern Relief Road - which is planned to bypass Kendal town centre by creating a two mile route from the A591 across to the A6 to help ease congestion.  

He said: "I saw the congestion, it obviously is a very serious problem here, and it's a pity because the town in many respects is doing very well. 

"The main issue is raising money for it and what the government should be doing is investing more heavily in infrastructure." 

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