LONDON – The United Kingdom’s biggest business organization harshly criticized on Monday the government’s decision to postpone a crucial parliamentary vote on a Brexit deal and warned that the uncertainty surrounding the country’s withdrawal from the European Union could precipitate a national crisis.
The Confederation of British Industry, which speaks for nearly 200,000 businesses and 140 trade associations across the country, was reacting to news that Prime Minister Theresa May had decided to delay the Brexit deal vote in the House of Commons – which had been scheduled for Tuesday – after ascertaining that the government’s proposal had failed to garner the support of a majority of lawmakers.
“This is yet another blow for companies desperate for clarity,” said Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI’s director-general, in a statement. “Investment plans have been paused for two and a half years.”
“Unless a deal is agreed quickly, the country risks sliding towards a national crisis,” she added.
Fairbairn called on politicians on both sides of the English Channel to show leadership by building a consensus capable of protecting the prosperity of both the UK and the EU.
“No one can afford to head into Christmas with the threat of (a) no-deal (scenario) costing jobs and hitting living standards,” the business leader said.