British Prime Minister Theresa May continues to face growing calls to rethink her Brexit strategy following a hung parliament in the recent elections.
Business Leaders Call For Soft Brexit After Shock Election Results
Theresa May’s Conservatives party has been set on getting the UK out of the single market and bringing an end to freedom of movement but the recent elections saw her party lose its Commons majority.
Former Chancellor George Osbourne said he doubted that a majority of MPs supported a hard Brexit stance.
Paul Drechsler, president of the Confederation of British Industry said his organization had been urging the UK and European negotiators to prioritize people and the economy during these important talks.
He added, “With just a few days to go before the negotiations on Brexit begin, the UK needs to agree on transitional agreements, guarantee the rights of EU citizens and move the focus on formal negotiation to future trading negotiations.”
According to Samuel Tombs, the UK chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, the election results had increased the chance of Britain remaining in the single market and therefore reduced the risk of triggering a hard Brexit in 2019.
He said, “We judge that the probability of this ‘soft Brexit’ scenario is maybe 60 percent with a 35 percent chance of a negotiated ‘hard Brexit’ and a 5 percent chance of no deal where the UK will resort to World Trade Organization rules.”
Kit Juckes, a strategista at Societe Generale said the option of the UK exiting the EU without a solid agreement was no longer feasible.
He added, “We are going to do a deal so Mrs. May’s insistence that no deal is better than a bad deal where we fall back to WTP rules is no longer likely.”
Airbus chief executive Tom Enders said movement between its factories in Europe was important for his company, which employs as many as 10,000 people at its Broughton and Filton plants.
He reiterated, “We are a company that evidentially is interested in free flow of people.”’
Although Mrs. May is banking on the support of the 10 MPs from DUP to create a government, she will need the support of 13 Conservative MPs from Scotland with 12 being newly elected.
The Tories leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson who campaigned for the Remain camp in last year’s referendum said she was looking for support across all parties for a Brexit deal that will have at its heart economic advancement and free trade.”
In an interview, Mr.Osbourne said that if the likes of Ms. Davidson are beginning to leverage their position then that’s a good sign.
However, according to Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, the government’s view on Brexit remains the same.