Prime Minister Theresa May’s successor must avoid a no-deal Brexit or risk losing the Conservatives’ moniker as the party of commerce, the UK’s biggest business lobby group said.
The task facing the next prime minister is to “restore the U.K.’s reputation as the stable and trusted country to start and grow a business,” Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said late Thursday in an open letter to the wide field of candidates trying to win the Tory leadership contest and become prime minister.
“Firms large and small are clear that leaving the EU with a deal is the best way forward,” Fairbairn wrote. “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.”
Fairbairn’s letter is a shot across the bows of some of the 11 politicians who have so far declared their candidacy in the Tory leadership contest. The favorite, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, has said Britain should be prepared to leave the European Union without a deal, as have fellow contenders Dominic Raab, Andrea Leadsom and James Cleverly.
Former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey has gone even further, saying Britain should actively pursue a no-deal Brexit, while Kit Malthouse is pushing a plan that could also involve leaving the bloc without an agreement. [...]
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'Champion business' - Open letter from CBI to all Conservative Party Leadership candidates
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