Business chiefs warn Theresa May their ‘patience is wearing thin’ over Brexit


Posted by Geoff Bishop.

Written by Jessica Wilkins.

Business leaders have launched a scathing attack on Theresa May over Brexit and demanded a “clear statement of intent” over the Government’s plans.

Bosses at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) have written an open letter to the Prime Minister calling on her to makes clear what she hopes to achieve from Brexit negotiations.

The letter paints a gloomy picture for Mrs May, and warns “patience is wearing thin” among businesses across the country over the issue.

Downing Street has been clear that the UK will leave the EU single market and the customs union, but has not spelled out what kind of trading arrangements it wants in their place.

In their letter, BCC president Francis Martin and director general Adam Marshall warn that delay from the Government means some companies are already “preparing to activate contingency plans”.

“Businesses need those elected to govern our country to make choices — and to deliver a clear, unequivocal statement of intent,” the letter reads.

“The perception amongst businesses on the ground, large and small alike, is one of continued division.

“Even amongst the many optimistic, future-oriented firms — those who see opportunity in change — patience is wearing thin.

“Directly-affected companies are poised to activate contingency plans. Many others, worryingly, have simply disengaged.”

They called on the Prime Minister to present clear negotiating objectives to restore both public and business confidence.

“Clear UK negotiating objectives are crucial to both business and public confidence,” Mr Martin and Mr Marshall added.

“While the BCC has campaigned strongly in favour of a status-quo transition period, to give businesses time to plan for change, this transition must lead to a clear endpoint.

“There is no room for continued ambiguity as companies make investment and hiring decisions. The Government must set out its plans.”

The letter comes as Theresa May’s Brexit war Cabinet meets in Downing Street in an attempt to thrash out an agreed position on the UK’s long-term relationship with the EU.

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