Exclusive: Leading industry groups are set to make urgent public interventions about the risk of a no-deal Brexit if MPs vote down Theresa May’s deal next week.
The Freight Transport Association is to demand a list of emergency “mini-deals” which the government must arrange with the EU before March 2019, covering truck permits, aviation and VAT.
Another high-profile group is also planning an urgent statement, telling Business Insider: “If the deal falls next week we are in completely different territory and our response will reflect that.”
The Federation of Small Businesses calls on the prime minister to consider extending Article 50.
There is growing panic among business and industry figures about the looming spectre of a no-deal Brexit.
LONDON — The UK’s leading business and industry groups are set to make major public interventions on Brexit next week amid growing panic over the prospect of leaving the EU without a deal.
Several of the country’s biggest groups are preparing urgent statements for the likely event of Theresa May’s Brexit deal with Brussels being voted down by MPs in the House of Commons next Tuesday.
Business and industry leaders are increasingly concerned about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, despite new moves by MPs of all parties to deter the prime minister from contemplating it.
Business Insider has learnt that the Freight Transport Association — which represents UK logistic companies like those which carry goods from Dover to Europe — has prepared a list of emergency “mini-deals” which it will publicly call on the UK government to arrange with Brussels in order to limit the disruption of a no-deal scenario.
The FTA’s highest-priority demands are permits for UK truck drivers to travel to the EU, measures to prevent planes being grounded, and the avoidance of changes to VAT rules which would be particularly costly for small businesses.
“The government cannot sleep until we have these things by March 2019,” James Hookham, the FTA’s Deputy Chief Executive, told Business Insider.
He added: “I’m not going to let the logistics industry take the fall for political indulgence. It’ll be messy, expensive and not end well, and caused by people who suffer from ignorance or privilege. Or both.”
“It’ll be messy, expensive and not end well, and caused by people who suffer from ignorance or privilege. Or both”
Other groups and trade associations are weighing up how they’ll respond to the prime minister’s deal being rejected.
A senior figure at another leading business group said that it was preparing for “the severity of the situation to increase significantly” next week.
The UK business community is preparing to “rise up with their pitchforks” next week if MPs vote to reject the Withdrawal Agreement next week, another source said.
Another of the country’s biggest industry groups also confirmed it is planning a public intervention, with an insider telling BI: “If the deal falls next week we are in completely different territory and our response will reflect that.”
Craig Beaumont, Head of External Affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses, told BI that while the FSB had not yet prepared an official response, …read more
Source:: Business Insider