Companies have to comment on a second Brexit referendum

Companies have to comment on a second Brexit referendum

The British economy has tried to play a constructive role in Brexit. Following Parliament's decision to trigger Article 50 after the 2016 referendum, we worked with the government to ensure that the enormous complexity and economic risks were understood and reasonably planned.

After 45 years in the EU and the consistent integration of our economies to support the largest single market in the world, we assumed that common sense would prevail. This would clearly have required a reasonable transitional period, while Britain felt that it was as close as possible to the bloc – preferably in the Customs Union and the Internal Market for a period of five to ten years. This would have allowed sufficient time to cope with the enormous complexities of trade agreements on supply chains, skills, research, transport and the National Health Service.

While such a compromise would be sub-optimal, it would be compared to full membership of the EU as companies would have been willing to support such an offer. But here we are clearly not. The UK is risking an extremely bad deal or deal that most commentators believe would be extremely catastrophic in economic and political terms, as well as a significant risk to peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland.

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