Dame Carolyn emerged as one of the strongest voices in the Remain side of the debate in the run up to the June 2016 Brexit referendum, warning up to 1million jobs would be lost if the UK voted to leave the EU. She has since thrown herself into the campaign for a soft Brexit, arguing for a customs union and attacked Tory leadership hopefuls for backing a no deal exit. The 58-year-old director-general of the Confederation of British Industry is described by the Government as an “outstanding advocate of British business”.
Former Cabinet minister Priti Patel said the decision to bestow the honour on Dame Carolyn and others in Project Fear was a “stain on our democracy.
The Eurosceptic Tory MP told The Daily Telegraph: “It’s totally inappropriate. This is a reward for the regressive campaign that the CBI has conducted against our country and the result of the referendum.
“The British public will be appalled to see that the doom-mongers of Brexit are receiving honours for their role in the Brexit betrayal. This is a stain on our democracy and must end.”
Dame Carolyn was named in the annual awards list in recognition for her services to business.
The mother-of-three has repeatedly warned of the “severe” damage a no deal Brexit would have on British firms and warned of the “depth and breadth of opposition to no deal” in the business community.
She savaged Tories in the race for Number 10 who had vowed to deliver Brexit by October 31, deal or no deal, including Boris Johnson, Esther McVey and Dominic Raab.
She said: “£800billion of financial capital has left this country. This idea we are ready is just not true.”
A Deltapoll survey conducted on May 29-30 for the Mail on Sunday found British voters are warming up to the idea of a no deal Brexit, with one in three saying they believe it would cause only short-term problems.
Fifteen percent of the 2,449 adults who took part in the poll said they had “nothing to fear” about a hard Brexit.
Leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg who heads up the European Research Group said it appears Dame Carolyn has been rewarded by the Government for backing their policies on the EU.
He said her name appearing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list “tells you all you need to know about the CBI”.
He added: “It says what it is asked to say to support Government policy on the EU and she is then dutifully rewarded.
“I congratulate her. Obedience pays off. It is a great thing to be a Dame.”
Dame Carolyn is among a string of no deal Brexit critics to be named in the list of 1,073 people.