No-deal Brexit will cause ‘severe damage’, business leader warns Tory candidates

Carolyn Fairbairn pictured at a Resolution Foundation fringe event on Brexit, during the Labour Party annual conference at the Arena and Convention Centre (ACC), in Liverpool. Picture date: Tuesday September 25th, 2018. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/ EMPICS Entertainment.
Carolyn Fairbairn has issued a warning to the Tory leadership candidates (Picture: Matt Crossick)

Leaving the EU without a deal could cause ‘severe’ damage to British business, an expert has warned.

Carolyn Fairbairn, the Confederation of British Industry director-general, has advised Tory leadership candidates that the ‘vast majority of firms can never be prepared’ for a no-deal Brexit.

MPs such as Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab have both declared that the UK will leave the EU ‘with or without a deal’ on October 31, if they were to be Prime Minister.

While hopeful Esther McVey said the UK needs to ‘actively embrace leaving the EU without a deal’.

Ms Fairbairn wrote to the candidates in an open letter: ‘Firms large and small are clear that leaving the EU with a deal is the best way forward.

Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who is running to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister, leaves his home in London, Britain, May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Boris Johnson has spoke of leaving the EU without a deal (Picture: Reuters)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Thomas/REX (10248586v) Dominic Raab arrives at the BBC Studios. BBC Studios, London, UK - 26 May 2019
Dominic Raab has also vowed to leave the EU with or without an agreement (Picture: Rex Features)

‘Short-term disruption and long-term damage to British competitiveness will be severe if we leave without one.

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‘The vast majority of firms can never be prepared for no-deal, particularly our SME (small and medium enterprise) members who cannot afford complex and costly contingency plans.

‘We need compromise, consensus and honesty to resolve the Brexit impasse, quickly. Prolonged uncertainty is damaging our economy now – driving up costs and reducing sales.’

She continued that the stockpiling of raw materials and goods among SMEs is currently at a ‘record high’.

Secretary of State for Pensions Esther McVey arrives at 10 Downing Street to attend weekly Cabinet Meeting, London on November 6, 2018. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto/Sipa USA)
The candidates were warned that firms can ‘never be prepared for no deal’ (Picture: PA)

‘Billions of pounds in investment are being diverted from the economy, harming future jobs and prosperity,’ she said.

‘The CBI urges the next Prime Minister to build their approach to Brexit from the bottom up – from the clear, detailed evidence of firms, on the ground, managing the day-to-day implications for jobs.

‘Only then will the UK have the foundations for a world beating economy.’

Who is running to be prime minister?

Boris Johnson

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 26, 2018 Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in central London after attending the weekly cabinet meeting on June 26, 2018. - Instantly recognisable with his mop of blonde hair, Boris Johnson's bumbling but breezy attitude earned him a string of improbable political victories, including Brexit, but has enraged and offended in equal measure. The Conservative MP is favourite to replace Theresa May as party leader and prime ministerin July 2019, having proved his pedigree as a winner by being elected twice as mayor of London, a cosmopolitan and normally left-leaning city. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
The former foreign secretary and mayor of London is the biggest name in the race, and is seen as favourite by the bookies (Picture: Getty)

Dominic Raab

British Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Dominic Raab is welcome by the European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union (unseen) prior their first bilateral meeting in the Berlaymont, the EU Commission headquarter, on July 19, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. - Photo by T Monasse/ANDBZ/ABACAPRESS.COM
The former Brexit secretary has left no deal firmly on the table, saying the UK must ‘calmly demonstrate unflinching resolve to leave in October – at the latest’ (Picture: PA)

Michael Gove

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 file photo Britain's Environment Secretary Michael Gove arrives at Downing Street. London. Prime Minister Theresa May???s announcement that she will leave 10 Downing Street has set off a fierce competition to succeed her as Conservative Party leader _ and as the next prime minister. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)
The Environment Secretary has positioned himself as the unity candidate, saying he would push for a deal first without limiting himself to the current deadline of October 31 (Picture: AP)

Jeremy Hunt

epa07593762 British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt delivers a speech during a conference on Cyber Security in central London, Britain, 23 May 2019. In his speach to the conference Jeremy Hunt Foreign Secretary said NATO must work together to deter Russia's malicious global cyber campaign. EPA/ANDY RAIN / POOL
The Foreign Secretary campaigned for Remain in the referendum and is seen as a moderate candidate and thinks leaving without a deal would be ‘political suicide’ (Picture: EPA)

Rory Stewart

mp rory stewart leaving number 10 downing street
The International Development Secretary said a no deal Brexit would be ‘a huge mistake, damaging, unnecessary, and I think also dishonest’ (Picture: Getty)

Andrea Leadsom

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 21, 2019 Britain's Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom leaves after attending the weekly meeting of the Cabinet at 10 Downing Street in central London.. - UK House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom announced her resignation from the government on May 22, 2019 over Prime Minister's handling of the Brexit crisis. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
Leadsom, who resigned as Leader of the House just before the PM quit, said that under her leadership the UK would quit the EU in October with or without a deal (Picture: Getty)

Sajid Javid

Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid is seen outside Downing Street, as uncertainty over Brexit continues, in London, Britain May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
The Home Secretary campaigned for Remain in the referendum, but announcing his candidacy said ‘first and foremost we must deliver Brexit’ (Picture: Reuters)

Matt Hancock

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Thomas/REX (10242308bf) Matthew Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, shows the press a packet of Waffles that he is bringing to the Cabinet meeting. Cabinet meeting, London, UK - 21 May 2019
The Health Secretary said he won’t be pursuing a no-deal strategy, because it ‘simply won’t be allowed by Parliament’ (Picture: Rex)

Esther McVey

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2018/11/06: Esther Mcvey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions seen departing from No 10 Downing Street after attending the weekly Cabinet Meeting. (Photo by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
McVey says we have to go for no-deal (Picture: Getty)

Kit Malthouse

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Hartley/REX/Shutterstock (5215087bp) Kit Malthouse MP for North West Hampshire. Conservative Party Conference, Manchester, Britain - 05 Oct 2015
Malthouse says he’ll find a compromise (Picture: Rex)

James Cleverly

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28: James Cleverly, the Conservative MP for Braintree, is seen in Westminster on May 28, 2019 in London, England. As more MPs enter the race to become the next leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister, speculation mounts about a potential run from Cleverly. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
The Brexit Minister called for change and said he has backed Brexit from the beginning (Picture: Getty Images)

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