Zoopla boss Alex Chesterman: "It's not acceptable to simply say Brexit means Brexit"

Rebecca Smith
Zoopla's founder and chief executive wants
Zoopla's founder and chief executive wants "a good Brexit" (Source: Zoopla)

The founder of Zoopla Property Group and one of the original names behind the legal challenge to Brexit, has said the government's handling of Brexit "highly disappointing" so far and lacks transparency.

"I'm in favour of a good Brexit, I think the result in June is not in question," Alex Chesterman said. "A good Brexit could be a very good outcome."

But so far he's found the government's actions "highly disappointing if I'm being honest," in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union.

Read more: Has the government’s silence on Brexit now become untenable?

Chesterman is concerned about "Brexit at any cost with hard deadlines and no transparency". He said: "I'm disappointed at where the government appears to be at this stage, because you know a fair amount of time has now passed since this happened. This wasn't yesterday. And I think there are a lot of mixed messages coming out from both the UK government and the counterparties in Europe."

"I think transparency is important here because it's not acceptable anymore to simply say 'Brexit means Brexit and I'm ambitious to get a good deal'," he added. "One needs to ensure the best outcome for everybody in the UK, so hopefully we'll see some more progress on that front over the next two or three months, but the clock is ticking and progress seems slow if I'm honest."

Theresa May has been notoriously tight-lipped on the government's plans for Brexit talks, trying to keep her cards close to her chest to gain an upper hand in negotiations.

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Earlier this year, Chesterman was revealed as one of the original names behind a legal challenge to Brexit. He isn't involved now, but said he is "supportive of ensuring we get the right process".

As for Brexit's impact on Zoopla, so far it's not had a huge impact. Chesterman said the vote to leave the European Union has caused uncertainty and "naturally led to a slowdown in property sales transactions" but "the rental side is very robust". And with Zoopla diversifying across those as well as marketing, software and other services, Chesterman said it had been "relatively unaffected" by Brexit jitters.

Today the online property group unveiled record profits and revenues for the year and shares spiked over seven per cent in early trading.

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