The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has sent a warning from the ‘coal face’ of business to Conservative leadership candidates about the ‘severe’ consequences of a no-deal Brexit.
The group has written an open letter to all Tory candidates.
The CBI’s chief, Carolyn Fairbairn, told BBC News that she is “hugely concerned” by the prospect of no deal.
Her concerns stem from spending time with businesses across the country, she said.
She warned that a no-deal Brexit would herald £20 billion of additional customs fees and “overnight” rises in tariffs.
She added that 150,000 businesses do not even have the systems needed to be able to trade on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms.
“These are practical issues,” she said. “And we’re seeing the cost right now.
“We’re seeing a 44% reduction in car production last year, headquarters leaving the country.
“You don’t need to look into the future to see the impact of no deal. And we do want every Conservative candidate to hear directly from the coal face of British business.
The CBI, which has been described by the FT as the country’s biggest business lobby group, represents over 190,000 businesses across a wide range of sectors.