BUSINESS leader Ian Larrard has warned Brexit uncertainty is behind the slow down in growth across the UK.

The comments were made in response to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics that GDP contracted by 0.4 per cent in December and growth slowed by 0.2 per cent in the three months to the end of the year.

“The latest data indicates that the UK economy suffered a significant loss of momentum in the final quarter of 2018, " said the director of the Swindon and Wiltshire Business Initiative at Best West.

He added: "With Brexit uncertainty, a slowing global economy and the persistent financial squeeze on consumers and businesses increasingly having a suffocating effect on economic activity.

“It is increasingly likely that the slowdown at the end of 2018 will persist as continued Brexit uncertainty, Firms are increasingly reporting having to divert staff, money and investment to protect against chaos of a no-deal Brexit.

“It’s vital that government avoids a messy and disorderly Brexit on 29th March as it would be a significant negative shock to the UK economy, damaging communities across the country."