September 24, 2018

United Kingdom business patience 'at breaking point' over Brexit

06 July 2018, 08:45 | Darnell Patrick

GETTYMichel Barnier stated that'huge and serious divergences remain surrounding the Irish border issue

Michel Barnier

"With the time running out ahead of the UK's exit from the European Union, business patience is reaching breaking point", BCC director-general Adam Marshall said on Tuesday in a statement.

But Marshall said "businesses have every right to speak out when it is abundantly clear that the practical questions affecting the competitiveness of their firms and the livelihoods of millions of people remain unanswered".

May has pledged to overcome deep divisions in her cabinet of ministers at a meeting at her country residence this week and come up with a blueprint for the future relationship with the European Union, a step needed to move forward all-but-stalled Brexit talks.

But Dr Lee said: "We need courageous, rational leadership to get our country successfully through Brexit", with "decisions based on reality and evidence, not dreams and dogma".

Tory MP Vicky Ford - a former MEP and supporter of close ties to Europe - told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "What I would say to if this becomes a binary choice between staying in the single market and customs union or no deal, then I do not believe there is a majority for no deal".

The comments will be seen as a rebuke to the Foreign Secretary, who reportedly said "f*** business" when asked about Brexit fears.

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He faced a deluge of negative reactions from Conservative MPs who told him to "shut up" and warned that there was no majority in parliament or among the public for a no-deal Brexit, which some claim Mr Rees-Mogg wants.

Mr Hammond replied: "I can assure (Mr McDonnell) that I will be setting out for my colleagues in the privacy of our Cabinet meeting on Friday the Treasury's - indeed the cross Whitehall economics group's assessment of the implications of different potential routes forward".

Last month, first Airbus then BMW warned they may pull United Kingdom investment, the first major companies to break cover and spell out the full implications of the lack of clarity on Brexit.

"It is time for politicians to stop the squabbling and the Westminster point-scoring - and start putting the national economic interest first. They are the practical, real-world concerns of businesses of every size and sector, in every part of the United Kingdom". It warned against trying to do separate deals for services and manufacturing, sectors it described as "inextricably linked".

The Professional and Business Services Council said it was essential to secure mutual recognition on qualifications, regulations and legal judgments between the United Kingdom and the bloc.

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