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