Next boss Lord Wolfson has said the country needs “nerves of steel” in the coming weeks, but is still hopeful a deal can be struck on Brexit.
Wolfson, who advocated Leave during the referendum, has been critical of the previous government’s handling of no deal contingency planning, warning that it could lead to “chaos and disorder”. However increased focus under the new regime was paving the way for better preparedness.
In an interview with the BBC’s Today programme, Wolfson said: “The encouraging thing is that we are rapidly moving from the disorder and chaos camp to the well-prepared camp.
“I should stress that I would much prefer a deal to no deal, but I am much less frightened by no deal if the government is prepared, and there is every indication it’s taking it more seriously.”
Boris Johnson’s increased focus on planning for no deal would help secure one – albeit at the last minute, he added.
“In the vast majority of deals I’ve done, if the deadline is midnight, the deal gets done at 11:55 but we need to have nerves of steel and prepare ourselves for either outcome.”
But Wolfson warned against the government’s future approach towards immigration, in particular having a salary threshold of £30,000.
“I think it is a very unwise way to measuring need by looking at someone’s salary,” he said.