Business bosses head to Downing Street for Brexit discussions

Theresa May Leaves For Prime Minister's Questions
Theresa May to meet business leaders in Downing Street (Source: Getty)

The leaders of some of the UK’s biggest companies are to meet prime minister Theresa May tomorrow in Downing Street.

Senior executives from companies such as ITV, BT, Lloyds Banking Group, Virgin Money and Royal Mail have been invited to Downing Street for discussions with May, Sky News reports.

According to the report Brexit will be discussed, alongside other issues affecting the economy.

Read more: IFS: Brexit job losses for UK would have "severe" consequences for Budget

The guest list for the meeting reportedly includes ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall, BT Group chair Jan du Plessis, Virgin Money chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Legal & General head of personal investing Helena Morrissey, Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene, Diageo boss Ivan Menezes and CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn.

Chancellor Philip Hammond and Business Secretary Greg Clark are also due to attend the meeting.

A recent survey of business leaders over what they would like to see from the upcoming Brexit negotiations suggested that legal certainty from a quickly agreed transition deal is of greater value to businesses than a more comprehensive trade deal later on.

Read more: Business wants certainty over transition more than broad final Brexit deal

The survey of 280 chief executive officers and chief financial officers, carried out by accountancy firm KPMG, revealed that 68 per cent would prefer legal certainty on transition by April 2018 with a less ambitious future deal, rather than a more ambitious deal not agreed until much later.

Twenty per cent of CEOs and CFOs said their businesses would not be able to operate as usual in March 2019 if there is no transition deal.

When asked what the effect would be on their firms if the UK and European Union do not reach a steady state transition agreement by April 2018, 33 percent expected a negative impact on their business, but 43 per cent expected their business to see some competitive advantage.

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