Confederation of British Industry warns Tory leadership hopefuls that a no-deal Brexit would caused "severe" damage to UK competitiveness

Leaving the European Union without a deal will cause severe long-term damage to Britain’s competitiveness, one of the country’s main business groups warned the 12 candidates hoping to succeed Theresa May as prime minister, Reuters reports.

“Firms large and small are clear that leaving the EU with a deal is the best way forward,” the Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Carolyn Fairbairn wrote in a letter. 

“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-sized enterprises) members who cannot afford complex and costly contingency plans.” 

Britain was due to leave the EU in March but that has been pushed back until Oct 31st after Parliament rejected May’s negotiated deal.

A total of 12 Conservative MPs are seeking to take over from May with several saying they are prepared to take Britain out of the EU without an agreement in place. 

“We have a clear message for the next Conservative leader and future Prime Minister. Champion business,” wrote Fairbairn.

With EU negotiators steadfastly refusing to renegotiate the existing deal even under a new Prime Minister, and the House of Commons highly unlikely to change its collective minds and belatedly accept the existing arrangement, it is difficult at this stage to imagine any alternative to a no-deal Brexit.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today. 

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

Gary's latest book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/WANTE...

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