Brexit Approach ‘Not Working’, UK’s Top Business Chiefs Cry Out
The UK’s five main business organizations have sent a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May and EU leaders Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk raising an alarm that the present approach to Brexit on both sides “isn’t working”.
“In the absence of clarity, businesses will inevitably have to implement plans for a worst-case scenario, which could cost the U.K. economy billions of pounds, thousands of jobs and leave many families without a main income,” the groups have declared in the letter obtained and cited by Bloomberg.
The letter is signed by British Chambers of Commerce Director General Adam Marshall; Confederation of British Industry Director General Carolyn Fairbairn; EEF chief executive Stephen Phipson; Federation of Small Businesses Chairman Mike Cherry; and Institute of Directors Director-General Stephen Martin.
In addition to UK Prime Minister Theresa May, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk, the letter of Britain’s top business chiefs also went to UK Brexit Secretary David Davis and EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier.
“An increasing number of companies have made clear that in the face of uncertainty, they are now actively considering moving substantial volumes of work away from the U.K. We know that many more large businesses are close behind in their plans,” the five business lobby groups have stated.
The letter comes after last week plane-maker Airbus suggested it could leave the UK in the event of a Brexit without a transition deal with the EU.
BMW’s UK head Ian Robertson followed suit by declaring his company would have to make “alternative plans” if it did not get sufficient clarity within months on Britain’s future customs arrangement with the European Union.
“Our business members and their European trading partners need faster, more decisive action from both sides. It’s time to move on. The current approach by the UK and European Council isn’t working and threatens growth and jobs,” the heads of the top five British business lobby groups have warned in their letter.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, a group of 60 British economists, politicians, and businesspeople, including former Brexit minister David Jones and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson, have sent their own letter to May insisting that the “no deal” Brexit option be kept open. The letter has been organized by the pro-Brexit group Economists for Free Trade.
They have urged May to accelerate Britain’s plans to resort to the rules of the World Trade Organization in case the EU declines to hammer out a free trade deal with it.
“To have any real leverage in the Brexit endgame, the UK must reserve the right to walk away without a trade deal,” the signatories of the letter have stated.
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