The CBI has warned potential Tory leadership candidates about the consequence of a no-deal Brexit, as the Prime Minister’s announcement of her imminent departure has effectively put the Brexit process on hold until a new leader is elected.
On 24 May, Theresa May announced that she would be stepping down as the Conservative party leader on 7 June. In an emotional statement, the Prime Minister said she had done her best to deliver Brexit and expressed her ‘deep regret’ about being unable to do so.
The Tory party is now expected to elect a new leader, and the country’s next Prime Minister, by the end of July. And the person who is ultimately elected will clearly have a huge impact on how the Brexit process proceeds and is eventually concluded.
However, Mrs May’s decision to stand aside would appear to have increased the possibility of both a no-deal Brexit and Brexit not occurring at all. This is because the Prime Minister’s Brexit plan negotiated with the EU now appears to be in tatters, leaving no vehicle for exiting the EU and a default position of departure on 31 October.
While the next Prime Minister may be able to negotiate an improved deal, the EU have consistently stated that they have limited appetite for change to the current deal and securing any further concessions will certainly not be easy. This leaves the prospect of a no-deal departure or a sufficient proportion of MPs uniting behind a second referendum.
Meanwhile, the CBI has issued a warning to Conservative leadership candidates who are actively supporting a no-deal Brexit. The business organisation’s director general Carolyn Fairbairn has said that a no-deal Brexit should not even be considered and suggested that such a policy “is not a responsible strategy for a government to have”.