UK business in BREXIT BLOCK: Bosses launch campaign to DEMAND second referendum

Posted on Nov 9 2018 - 6:40am by admin

A survey of more than 1,000 business leaders showed support for a so-called People’s Vote is growing with almost three out of five backing a poll.

The research was carried out by the People’s Vote campaign, the group behind a march last month which saw 700,000 people head to Westminster to demand another Brexit vote.

Sir Mike Rake, former president of the CBI and former chairman of BT, said: “The polling shows that business is deeply concerned by the Brexit process and that support is growing for a People’s Vote on the final deal.

“Retailers are worried about getting stock from the continent, car makers about delays at the border bringing their production lines to a grinding halt and everyone from hotel and leisure to the food industry is worried about how they are going to find staff.”

According to the People’s Vote website, dozens of leading business figures including Marks and Spencer’s former chairman Lord Myners, founder of Martha Lane Fox and former chairman of Rolls-Royce Sir Simon Robertson have signed a letter calling for another vote.

The letter, which has also been signed by more than 70 others, warns that current proposals being put forward by the government and the EU would leave the UK worse off than staying in the bloc.

The letter says: “We are now facing either a blindfold or a destructive hard Brexit. Both these options will further depress investment.

“They will be bad for business and bad for working people. Given that neither was on the ballot in 2016, we believe the ultimate choice should be handed back to the public with a People’s Vote.”

Other leading businessmen and women to put their names to the letter include the founder of Zoopla, Alex Chesterman, the founder of Cobra beer, Lord Karan Bilimoria, and founder and CEO of Innocent drinks.

Lord Myners added: “Any deal will be made from a position of weakness where we have surrendered our principal negotiating cards.

“It will be half-formed, casting a long shadow over business confidence, damaging investment and hurting both enterprises and their employees for years to come.”

It was also revealed by People’s Vote that a new business focused campaign group has been set up to demand a second vote.

The group, titled Business for a People’s Vote, is due to launch later this week.

Last month, the group was behind an anti-Brexit march which was rejected by Brexit secretary Dominic Raab.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Raab said it was “basic democratic arithmetic” that the 700,000 marchers could not trump the 2016 referendum.

He said: ““All I would say is the basic democratic arithmetic suggests that several hundred thousand protesting in what was an impressive protest cannot trump the will of 17 million people who voted in the national referendum to leave the EU.

“We can’t have a vote that renders meaningless the outcome of the referendum.”

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