Following the latest rejection of United Kingdom prime minister’s EU withdrawal plan by the UK parliament, British business groups have said that they are “devastated” by the current state of efforts to strike a Brexit deal.
The business groups have on their part urged the urged the government and the MPs to come to an agreement and ward off the “nightmare” of a no-deal Brexit.
“The UK’s reputation, people’s jobs and livelihoods are at stake,” said CBI deputy director-general Josh Hardie.
Businesses were “sick” of being stuck in “spirit-sapping limbo”, said Institute of Directors’ Edwin Morgan.
“The Brexit merry-go-round continues to spin, but the fun stopped a long time ago,” said \ Morgan, the IoD’s interim director-general.
Monday and Wednesday next week, the MPs are set to have another round of voting to try and arrive at a Brexit compromise in another series of votes.
“Business is devastated that after two years of negotiations, months of increasing uncertainty and weeks of building frustration, after three attempts the withdrawal deal has not been agreed by the House of Commons. This now makes the nightmare of a no-deal scenario more likely than ever,” said Stephen Phipson, chief executive of manufacturers’ group Make UK.
Businesses were “paying the price of the political uncertainty,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, “There are still options open to MPs and they must get behind one of them,” she added.
It was the responsibility of the Parliament to take the country out of “our current shambles” by trying to get a long extension to the deadline for UK’s exit form the EU, said the Food and Drink Federation’s chief executive, Ian Wright. “Business – particularly food and drink – requires a stable operating environment and a clear path forward. On Monday, Parliament must create both,” he said.
If there was not sufficient support for Theresa May’s deal, the UK should “pause and reset the process” in case it was not possible for Theresa May to find enough support in the parliament for her proposed Brexit deal, said the ADS Group, which represents the aerospace and defence sectors.
“It is for government and Parliament to decide the way forward, but the voice of UK businesses, their employees, customers and suppliers must be given greater priority,” said ADS chief executive Paul Everitt.
There was a reaction of dismay over the political deadlock over Brexit expressed by small business representatives.
“Our small firms are sick and tired of politicians debating and dithering over Brexit. They are trying to get on with their jobs and it’s time that politicians get on and do the same,” said the national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, Mike Cherry.
(Adapted from BBC.com)