With days to go until Britain leaves the European Union, businesses have given a relieved but apprehensive welcome to the Brexit trade deal.

The transition period ends at 11pm on Dec. 31 - with a "new era" soon to be ushered in.

Gordon MacPherson, managing director of The Retailer Group, has shared his thoughts on the newly-agreed deal.

Based in Malmesbury, he has spent much of the year working with high street retailers on how they can best respond to the challenge of coronanvirus.

Moving foward the challenge of Brexit could give buisnesses a chance to be "more resilient than before."

Mr MacPherson said: "After five years of political posturing, now is the time for businesses to focus on any issues they might encounter in a post-Brexit world head on. A pragmatic approach from governments on both sides of the channel would be welcomed by businesses who will need time to settle into the new trading environment and to adjust to new requirements.

"Politicians will go into overdrive in the next few days and weeks, but firms will now hopefully be able to focus on the positives.

"The news of a Brexit deal will be welcomed by business leaders and finally we can all move on with building business in the EU and elsewhere.

"The first half of 2021 is likely to be more challenging than the last quarter of 2020 and a number of businesses may well fold. While there is bad news ahead for some, the Brexit Deal and the roll out of the vaccine bring a sigh of relief and many organisations are likely come out of this more resilient than before."

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Gordon MacPhersonGordon MacPherson

"Looking closer to home and to our high streets, traditional businesses that have moved online are in the best position to prosper."

He added: "It’s now more about pragmatism and less about politics, and time to stabilise and grow our businesses for the future."