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UK business cautiously welcomes Brexit extension

AFP  |  London 

British business on Thursday gave a cautious welcome to yet another extension -- but also urged an end to the "chaos" that has plagued the nation's withdrawal from the

European leaders have agreed with British to delay until October 31 at the latest, saving the continent from a chaotic no-deal departure on Friday.

The (CBI), which is the country's biggest employers' organisation, said that the overnight development avoids a messy no-deal "crisis".

However, the influential lobby group also called for May to end uncertainty and seek cross-party consensus on the way forward.

"This new extension means imminent economic crisis has been averted, but it needs to mark a fresh start," said CBI

"For the good of jobs and communities across the country, all political leaders must use the time well.

"Sincere cross-party collaboration must happen now to end this chaos." The CBI chief's remarks were echoed by Catherine McGuinness, of Corporation, a local government authority for the capital's powerful financial district.

"Day by day, as uncertainty persists, so does the threat of more businesses moving jobs and operations away from the UK," she said.

"It is vital that politicians in the UK and EU come together." The deal struck during late night talks in means that, if remains in the EU after May 22, British voters will have to take part in European elections -- or crash out on June 1.

The British was given until October 31 to pass deal for leaving the bloc through parliament, having failed three times already to do so.

UK the (SMMT) repeated its call for no-deal to be removed from the picture.

"Government and parliament must use this extension purposefully to take no-deal off the table for good, and guarantee a positive long-term resolution that delivers frictionless trade," said SMMT

"If they fail, we face yet another devastating no-deal precipice on 31 October." Adam Marshall, of the (BCC) which represents thousands of firms, said businesses remain frustrated at the lengthy process -- almost three years after Britons voted to leave the EU.

"With less than 48 hours to go, the prospect of a messy and disorderly exit on Friday has again been averted," Marshall said.

"Businesses will be relieved -- but their frustration with this seemingly endless political process is palpable." CBI also sounded a cautious note, saying companies would continue to bear the cost of holding extra stock in case of further turmoil.

"This isn't a definitive extension," Allan told 4. "The cost of holding all that additional inventory will continue."

Allan called on politicians to start thinking about the national interest and added that a second referendum might be needed if politicians cannot break the impasse.

"My personal view is if the politicians can't get their act together... the only other option is to go back to the people and have a second referendum." Earlier this month, the CBI joined forces with union leaders in an unusual alliance to warn May that Britain faced a "national emergency" over a no-deal Brexit.

The CBI and union umbrella organisation the Trades Union had urged May to change tack and find a "Plan B" to avert a no-deal departure.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 16:20 IST