A LEADING business chief has made a damning assessment of Brexit negotiations, claiming that business leaders felt “frustration bordering on despair” over the fractious talks.
Confederation of British Industry (CBI) chief Carolyn Fairbairn made the comments as she discussed the effect of ongoing Brexit negotiations on UK business to the BBC’s John Pienaar.
Speaking on his BBC 5 Live politics show, when asked to sum up the feeling amongst businesses right now, the CBI director general said: “Frustration bordering on despair.
“A lot of firms hoped that we would come back from the summer with a renewed sense of purpose, heading in a direction.
“Meanwhile, boardrooms across the UK, and I’ve been hearing it a lot in the last couple of weeks, plans are just stepping up."
Ms Fairbairn warned that businesses could soon reach a ‘tipping’ point due to confusion over Brexit plans and that a no-deal scenario was now the only deal that business could feasibly make ready for.
She said: “I think there are now six different ideas for a future Brexit direction, which means if you’re running a business at the moment you can only plan for one outcome, and that is a no-deal scenario.
“Another question which is alarming is the future long-term attractiveness of the UK because we are looking so unpredictable at the moment."
Ms Fairbairn continued: “It’s a really difficult time for business, and frankly there is the sense we need to get behind a plan.
“The government’s White Paper had a lot of what business needed in it.