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July 2019

Brexit crisis: How are businesses coping?

When the UK voted by 52% to 48% in a referendum to leave the EU, many government Leave-supporting ministers airily proclaimed that quitting would be a piece of cake and would result in the easiest negotiation ever. Nearly three years later, the process of departing from the EU has descended to the level of a tragi-farce. Prime minister Theresa May – who has now resigned – went from being lauded as “The New Iron Lady” on the front page of the Daily Mail in January 2017, telling Brussels “We’ll walk away from a bad deal – and make EU pay” to “It’s a Brexit Halloween nightmare” in the Scottish Daily Mail in April 2019 after she was forced to agree to a six-month extension to the process. Set against this backdrop of political incompetence, the business world has tried to steer a pragmatic course while the politicians on the bridge have done their best to navigate the country onto the rocks of incoherence and ignorance. For the most part, the business community has avoided directly criticising the government’s conduct, perhaps ...

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