Danny McCance 22 Mar 2019 11:13am

CBI and TUC join forces against a no-deal

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have written a joint letter to prime minister Theresa May warning of a no-deal “national emergency”

In an unlikely partnership, CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn and TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady voiced their concerns and the concerns of the “millions of workers and tens-of-thousands of business”.

The letter, sent yesterday ahead of the European Summit, implored May to change her approach to Brexit and requested an urgent meeting to discuss the matter.

“Our country is facing a national emergency,” the letter read.

“Decisions of recent days have caused the risk of a no-deal to soar. Firms and communities across the UK are not ready for this outcome.

“The shock to our economy would be felt by generations to come,” it said.

In asking to take steps to protect jobs and the economy, Fairbairn and O’Grady set out three terms that needed to be met, the first of which was to avoid a no-deal Brexit at all costs.

The CBI and the TUC also said it was “essential” that an extension be secured, adding that “88% of CBI members and a majority in parliament agree this is better than a no-deal”.

Finally, the letter stated that a plan B must be found and that the choice between the current deal or a no-deal must not be the only option.

“A new approach is needed to secure this – whether through indicative votes or another mechanism for compromise,” Fairbairn and O’Grady stated.

Yesterday, the House of Commons Treasury Committee was alarmed that with just over a week before the Brexit deadline, the government has no idea of the real impact of a no-deal Brexit on businesses and jobs, calling it “extraordinary and without precedent”.