Monday 19 November 2018 2:08 pm

McLaren boss backs May’s Brexit plan, saying no deal is ‘not an option’ for businesses

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The boss of car manufacturer McLaren has backed Theresa May’s draft Brexit agreement, saying crashing out of the European Union without a deal is “not an option” for British industry.

Mike Flewitt said May’s withdrawal agreement, which the Prime Minister is currently trying to sell to her MPs, would “provide urgently-needed certainty and an implementation period that allows us to plan for the future and help ensure the continued success of the British automotive sector”.

He said: “A no-deal Brexit next March is not an option for British business as it would hinder free trade that is important for us and our sector which imports parts and exports globally.”

The Prime Minister is currently mounting a charm offensive in Westminster as she tries to stave off a rebellion from members of her own party, who are threatening to revolt over the terms of the draft exit deal, which she presented to cabinet last week.

A series of ministers resigned over its terms on Thursday, and hardline Brexiters have called – unsuccessfully so far – for a vote on her continued leadership of the Conservatives.

McLaren joins other voices in the automotive sector in arguing against a hard Brexit. Firms such as Jaguar Land Rover has been outspoken against the prospect of no deal, saying it would damage supply chains.

Meanwhile, other businesses have backed the Prime Minister's Brexit vision after her speech at the CBI this morning, in which she said the UK would leave a temporary customs union with the EU by 2022.

Brian Palmer, CEO of robotics firm Tharsus Group, told City A.M.: “We can question how we got to this point in the Brexit negotiations but the most important thing is to look forward and make the best of our current position.

"From this perspective I was impressed by her commitment to deliver the deal that is on the table and by her resilience.

"It was also good to hear her talking about the importance of the technology sector in the UK going forward and her commitment to the likes of the technology catapults."

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