CBI U-Turn, Oppose Brexit Extension

Remainers claiming to be on the side of businesses will have been left red-faced last night, after the Director-General of the CBI told Newsnight the organisation now opposes any extension to the implementation period beyond December 2020; arguing businesses have the “resilience to be able to plan for a ‘no deal’ Brexit,” and they have “no interest in delaying”.

This from the same organisation Vote Leave styled as the “voice of Brussels“. Amazing the kind of damascene conversion majority government can inspire. They’ve come a long way since shouts of “kill the CBI” were heard at Cummings’ Vote Leave victory speech

mdi-timer 5 June 2020 @ 09:30 5 Jun 2020 @ 09:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Business Confidence Booms as Threat of Corbyn Dies

The CBI’s rolling survey of British business confidence in the UK has seen optimism in British factories hit its highest level since 2014; leaping from -44 in October to +23 in January. Prizes for guessing what event in between may have triggered the leap…

The leap – coming only a week before Britain finally Brexits – is confirmation that growth is settling into top gear since the pre-Election uncertainty was ended, and once again undermines the arguments of remainers with the biggest quarterly swing since records began in 1958. The Boris bounce in action proving the gloomsters and doomsters wrong…

mdi-timer 22 January 2020 @ 15:53 22 Jan 2020 @ 15:53 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Boris Scraps Corporation Tax Cuts

Following Guido’s reporting that Boris had scrapped reducing income tax in the budget that never was, and he’s scrapping the same income tax cuts in the forthcoming manifesto, Boris has just announced at the CBI he’s also scrapping his pledged corporation tax cuts that would have seen the rate fall from 19% to 17%. Boris is really taking liberties in the knowledge the Tories’ manifesto can’t be any worse than the last one, they’re still having a good go…

mdi-timer 18 November 2019 @ 11:10 18 Nov 2019 @ 11:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
CBI Dancing to Boris’s No Deal Tune

Boris’s strategy of doing the opposite of what his opponents expect – and actually being serious about leaving the EU deal or no deal – is continuing to yield results. Now it’s Eurosceptics’ longtime adversary the CBI who have been forced to come round. Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn took to The Times to set out their new “pragmatic” approach to no deal:

“Our view has not changed. Business wants a deal. But we are also pragmatists. We have been preparing our members for the possibility of no deal for many months. Now is the time to shift to an emergency footing… And, contrary to some claims, the EU is behind the UK in its plans to prevent the worst effects…

“The CBI has set out more than 200 recommendations for action. For the government, it shows that good work has been carried out in prioritising short-term stability and temporary measures, such as its approach to licences for regulated EU goods imports…

“For the EU, it means at least matching the UK’s sensible temporary mitigations in a range of areas. They must look at further potential temporary standstills and extensions of emergency measures, especially around borders and data flows. They should also bring forward the ability for UK firms to apply for essential licences as a third country before the UK leaves…

“Two stark messages stand out. The first is to get on with the work. The second is to get back to the negotiating table so that this wasteful and complex process becomes redundant. The EU’s preparations lag the UK’s so it’s in their interest as much as ours to use the dynamic of a new prime minister to reset the approach.”

The Times’ write-up even included the phrasing “the CBI is pressing Brussels to drop its boycott of talks”. Who’d have thought we’d see the day when the UK’s ‘biggest’ business lobby group finally decided to put the pressure on Brussels rather than Downing Street – as it has for the last three years? When the PM actually leads, others follow…

mdi-timer 29 July 2019 @ 11:25 29 Jul 2019 @ 11:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
London Chamber of Commerce Hits Back at CBI’s No Deal Scare

The CBI have waded into the Tory leadership race with an entirely predictable open letter sent to all the candidates warning against the supposed horrors of a no-deal Brexit. They might as well just auto-schedule the same press release every three weeks. It’s only going to get worse when ultra-Remain fanatic Lord Bilimoria takes over as CBI President…

Not all business groups share their pessimism – now the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry has hit back at the CBI, with chief executive David Frost pointing out the obvious logical flaws with the CBI’s hardline position:

“It is all very well to insist the next Prime Minister must avoid Brexit on WTO terms and instead strike a deal with the EU. But no Prime Minister can actually guarantee that.

“That is because it isn’t just a UK decision: it’s also for the EU. That is why, as we have said, business needs to be confident that Government is still preparing for a No Deal Brexit and engaging fully with business organisations and individual firms.

“Although some of our members cannot prepare effectively, others can, and did so in the run up to 29 March. For them, it is the prolonged uncertainty that is damaging. So the new Conservative leader should aim to bring clarity as soon as possible.”

Business wants certainty on Brexit, not indecision…

mdi-timer 31 May 2019 @ 15:45 31 May 2019 @ 15:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
The Many Bad Calls of the CBI

The CBI has endorsed Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement, Guido thought it would be a good time to remind younger readers of its long and distinguished history of making bad political calls:

  • In the 1930s it supported appeasement.
  • In the 1940s it supported nationalisation.
  • In the 1950s it supported state planning.
  • In the 1960s it supported tripartite industrial relations.
  • In the 1970s it supported price controls.
  • In the 1980s it opposed getting tough with the USSR.
  • In the 1990s it supported the ERM.
  • In the 2000s it supported joining the Euro.
  • In the 2010s it supported Remain…
  • … and now it has declared its support for May’s draft withdrawal agreement.

Not exactly a laudable record…

mdi-timer 19 November 2018 @ 15:03 19 Nov 2018 @ 15:03 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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