Business chiefs tell May ‘time is running out’

PUBLISHED: 14:44 31 May 2018

Prime minister Theresa May
Photo: PA / Simon Dawson

Prime minister Theresa May Photo: PA / Simon Dawson

PA Wire/PA Images

Theresa May’s fractured government is a major threat to investment, senior business leaders have warned.

The European Round Table of Industrialists stressed time is running out to produce a clear plan for future trade arrangements after a meeting with the prime minister at Number 10.

The group is the latest to voice its concern as distrust grows in May’s ability to solve the Irish border problem.

In a statement an ERT spokesman said: “The uninterrupted flow of goods is essential to both the EU and UK economies. This must be frictionless as with a customs union.

“We need clarity and certainty, because time is running out. Uncertainty causes less investment.”

ERT’s members support 6.8 million jobs across Europe, with all member firms created in the EU and producing revenues of at least 2,250 billion euros.

Those at the meeting included BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg and his Nestle counterpart Paul Bulcke, plus chief executives including Vodafone’s Vittorio Colao and Royal Mail’s Moya Greene. Senior figures from firms including BMW, Phillips and Ferrovial also attended.

But a Downing Street source hit back: “The PM recognised the necessity of providing certainty for businesses.” She added that work was “under way on the two customs models” and said the prime minister had “underlined the importance of ensuring that our future trading arrangements with the EU are as frictionless as possible”.

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