Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 14th March 2019
A large majority of almost nine out of 10 British companies would prefer to see an extension to the Article 50 process rather than a No Deal Brexit scenario.
That’s according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which has polled 273 businesses to establish their opinions about the current Brexit situation.
Members of parliament in Westminster are due to vote on whether or not the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union should be delayed beyond March 29th.
The CBI says that 88 per cent of the businesses it surveyed on the matter would like to see an extension of the withdrawal process rather than a No Deal exit, with only 8 per cent saying that they’d prefer not to see any extension even if that means Britain leaves the EU without a deal on the terms of the process.
Just 4 per cent of respondents to the CBI’s survey said that they didn’t know whether they’d like to see the UK extend its Article 50 withdrawal process or not.
“An overwhelming majority of businesses want an extension to Article 50 which should be as short as possible, but as long as is necessary,” said Josh Hardie, the CBI’s deputy director general, in a statement.
“Business wants this resolved now, so any extra time must be used by MPs to finally craft a solution that protects livelihoods and communities across the UK. This demands a new approach from politicians across the house.
“No-one wants this to drag on but faced with the choice of a harsh no deal, businesses will back an extension every day of the week.”
In recent days the CBI published an open letter signed by representatives of 50 businesses from Northern Ireland which called on politicians in London to take whatever action might be necessary to prevent a No Deal Brexit scenario coming to pass.
The letter said that companies in Northern Ireland fear being particularly badly exposed to the fallout from a No Deal situation.
“A No Deal Brexit will result in significant damage to our export markets, supply chains, consumer spending power and the region’s competitiveness,” the letter said.
“All members of parliament must consider the burden of responsibility that they now carry for this region’s future.”