The UK faces job losses in a ‘brutal’ no-deal scenario come March 29, Theresa May has been warned.
The Prime Minister received fresh warnings about the impact of Brexit by major business and economic leaders today.
Confederation of British Industry (CBI) director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said firms were now in the ’emergency zone’ due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, ahead of the March 29 EU departure date.
And International Monetary Fund (IMF) boss Christine Lagarde said no arrangement Mrs May reached with Brussels would be as good for the economy as membership – and a no-deal Brexit would be ‘brutal’.
Ms Fairbairn told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday that firms were already planning ‘price increases and job reductions’ in response to a no-deal Brexit.
She said: ‘Firms are having to plan in the here and now for a no-deal Brexit with all of the pain that that will bring.
‘We know that businesses are leaving the country, we know that businesses are making plans that will damage communities across the country and just this week we had a new chapter in the unfolding nightmare that the trade deals that the UK businesses enjoy through the European Union will not be ready in time for leaving.’
Meanwhile Ms Lagarde, speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, issued her own warning, stating that whatever happened the UK’s trading relationship with Europe would not be as good as before Brexit.
She said: ‘I’m certain of one thing, it’s that it’s not going to be as good as if there had not been Brexit, that is for sure.
‘Whether it ends well, whether there is a smooth exit given by customs unions as predicted by some, or whether it’s as a result of a brutal exit on March 29 without extension of notice, it’s not going to be as good as it is now.’
Warnings about the economic hit from Brexit from the CBI and IMF have been dismissed by Leave supporters in the past.
During the referendum campaign Michael Gove said people ‘have had enough of experts… from organisations with acronyms saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong’.