Brexit blamed for business owing £32,000 as profits plummet

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 18 Jan 2018

A Beverley director whose business was severely affected by the Brexit vote ended up owing £32,000.

Michael Brown, 54, of Victoria Road in Beverley, saw turnovers for Ilex Industries plummet from £60,000 a month to £15,000.

The impact – blamed on the country’s vote to leave the EU in 2016 – contributed to Brown owing HM Revenues & Customs more than £32,000 in security payments for VAT.

Geoff Ellis, prosecuting, told Hull Magistrates’ Court on Monday: “Officers posted a notice of requirement on February 3 to Ilex Industries.

“The fact sheet enclosed required the company to pay security for value added tax.

“The defendant wrote to officers throughout March last year requesting more time to pay the sum owed, but no more time was given.

“He was told if the business continued to make supplies without paying security they would be liable to prosecution.”

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Ilex Industries is a leading construction business whose client base includes Network Rail.

The company was involved in the HS2 project, and was successful, but the Brexit vote in June 2016 derailed the business, proceedings were told.

Brown appeared in Hull Magistrates’ Court on Monday, with charges put to both him personally and the company.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of supplying goods without giving security payments for VAT. The total amount owed was £32,748.

Satpal Roth, representing Brown, said: “The company had obtained lucrative contracts, but a month or so later their fortunes turned in a negative way. The Brexit vote caused that.

The business was working on projects including HS2

“The HS2 rail project was the kind of project they had involvement in. Things were looking positive for the business, however there was a downturn.

“Unfortunately Mr Brown took on quite a lot when the other director moved out, and he did not realise the implications of it not being paid on time.”

Ms Roth said in an interview Brown had given “full and frank admissions” about what had happened, and did not realise he could have asked for the payments to be spread over a period of time.

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The solicitor said had he been allowed that privilege, he “would have been willing to do it".

“The company is a construction and building company, and has a very good credit history and client base.

“They want to continue trading. I am told one client owes the company around £70,000, which if paid would obviously solve all of their problems.”

Brown was fined £975 for failing to comply with the security payments, and ordered to pay costs of £42.50 and a £97 victim surcharge.

Ilex Industries was fined £1,500, and ordered to pay a £150 victim surcharge and costs of £42.50.

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