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Analysis

Business will be f*cked

by Hugo Dixon | 18.11.2019

Remember how the Prime Minister said “f*ck business” when he was foreign secretary? If he wins the election, that’s exactly what he’ll do.

Business has been crippled by uncertainty since the referendum. It has sat on its hands rather than invest. That is bad for jobs and the government’s ability to pay for high-quality public services such as the NHS.

The CBI, which is holding its annual conference today, has put it well. Its director-general told Sky yesterday: “If you are in business, living through the last three years, these rolling cliff-edges of climbing up a mountain with stockpiling and then climbing down again, could not be more damaging.”

Carolyn Fairbairn added: “Let’s make sure that we don’t end up with yet another cliff edge, possibly in June, or possibly at the end of December, because every time we do that we take investment away from our country.”

The problem is that, if Boris Johnson wins on December 12, that’s exactly what will happen. There’s a cliff edge at the end of next year, when the “transition” period – which allows us to keep access to the EU’s market – ends. Deep trade deals take many years to negotiate. So if we want an agreement by then, it will be terrible.

We could extend the transition by up to two years, but we would have to agree terms with the EU by July – so that’s the first cliff edge Fairbairn was talking about. In any case, the Prime Minister has pledged not to countenance any further delays as part of his shabby deal with Nigel Farage. 

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Contrary to what Johnson says, he won’t get Brexit done. His policy will lead to endless Groundhoggery

What’s more, our ultimate relationship with the EU, which accounts for half our trade, will be far worse than our current deal. We won’t have frictionless access for our manufacturers – and our services industries, 80% of the economy, will lose many of their rights to trade in the EU.

The Prime Minister claims he can negotiate a “Super Canada Plus” trade deal with the EU in record time. But he also says he won’t follow EU rules. These inconsistent objectives are his latest pyramid of piffle.

Meanwhile, the Tories are planning a new immigration policy – which supposedly favours the “best and the brightest” from around the world rather than free movement within the EU. It is, in fact, a recipe for great economic harm.

Business is, of course, worried about Labour’s nationalisation plans. But there is zero chance of Jeremy Corbyn winning an overall majority. The alternative to a Johnson government is a hung parliament – and by far the most important thing such a government would do is hold a referendum on whether to stay in the EU.

So the choice on December 12 is between getting f*cked by Johnson or having the option to cancel Brexit and revive the economy. 

The headline was updated on December 3

Edited by Andrew Gowers

4 Responses to “Business will be f*cked”

  • It beggars belief that Johnson can continue to make mistakes and talk nonsense and for this situation not to be reflected in the national press or on the BBC. Why is this happening ? What is the explanation of how a Prime Minister is allowed to behave in this way and not to be exposed for his incompetence ?

  • Tony-

    Yes this Guardian piece tells it like it is.

    BBC journalists want to create the illusion that Johnson is trustworthy, in order to put out a comforting story and not rock the boat. And because they calculate Johnson may win anyway, so they want to curry his favour, thinking of their future careers.

    But Boris is not alone in benefiting from such sycophancy. Millions in Soviet Russia worshipped “Uncle Jo”, whilst Stalin was committing his crimes.

    In the UK, the dominant rightwing press is the equivalent of the soviet propaganda machine. There are very few objective voices, with the honourable exception of InFacts, the Guardian and a few others.

    The EU did at one time say they were resolved to challenge some of the lies instead of remaining silent like previously, at least so far as the EU was concerned.

    But they seem to have given up now, and just want to be shot of us. And who can blame them?