The British Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses and the manufacturing body EEF are among five British businesses to have issued a stark warning to MPs over the risk of crashing out of the EU without a deal.
Voices have been raised over an ‘ill-prepared economy plunged into chaos’ should the UK remove itself from the European Union next March without a deal in place. Westminster has been accused of ‘playing at politics’ amid PM Theresa May’s own plans to delay her Brexit deal vote until mid-January.
The leaders of the UK’s five leading employers’ groups have said the country was nowhere near ready for March 29th.
Facing significant resistance among her own MPs, May’s three hour cabinet meeting on Tuesday concluded with a decision to ‘ramp-up’ no-deal readiness, which includes putting 3,500 armed forces personnel on standby.
Planned measures include hiring an extra 3,000 customer service and compliance staff in HM Revenue and recruiting hundreds of border officers.
The five business organisation – the CBI, Institute of Directors, British Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses and the manufacturing body EEF have said they were horrified by the infighting at Westminster that has seen a meaningful vote on the prime minister’s plan delayed until the middle of next month.
“The responsibility to find a way forward now rests directly with 650 MPs in parliament,” read the business groups’ statement. “Nobody wants to prolong the uncertainty, but everyone must remember that business and communities need time to adapt to future changes.
“As the UK’s leading business groups, we are asking MPs from all parties to return to their constituencies over Christmas and talk to their local business communities. We hope that they will listen and remember that when they return to parliament, the future course of our economy will be in their hands.”
The group has said that many companies are yet to make any preparations for what has until recently been seen as a remote possibility and that it was now too late to start.