Business, Freight News

Political saga is ‘hitting business’

[ June 12, 2019   //   ]

Director of Leeds-based Tudor International Freight Adam Johnson warns that the Conservative leadership contest could damage business. The race to succeed Theresa May would waste much of the additional time granted by the EU for the UK to agree a way forward on Brexit, when it extended the Article 50 deadline to 31 October in April.

Moreover, he added: “It’s no secret a high proportion of party members favour a no-deal Brexit, with a YouGov survey last month, for example, indicating about two-thirds now do so.”

Mr Johnson said there were signs this electoral system was therefore encouraging candidates to outbid each other in their willingness to countenance this form of departure.

“On top of this, the Institute for Government pointed-out recently there’s no longer a decisive way for MPs to block a cliff-edge departure, despite the House of Commons as a whole opposing this, if a Prime Minister is determined to drive it through.”

“Also, contrary to the position its name suggests, a no-deal departure would leave much essential business unfinished. For example, it’s almost certain the UK would want a free trade deal with the EU after it had left, but the bloc has said it won’t talk about this until we’ve approved the so-called divorce bill, citizens’ rights and Irish border arrangements in the draft withdrawal agreement. It would therefore be legitimate to ask Conservative leadership candidates prepared to countenance no-deal what they’d do if faced with this ultimatum.”

Mr Johnson said other questions affecting UK businesses that should be put to these contenders included what they would do about the long traffic tailbacks from ports.