'Wrecking ball' Brexit must be avoided, urges CBI

Simon Jack
Business editor
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Businesses, of course, cannot vote.

But the CBI employers' group is urging MPs to consult the business leaders in their constituencies when THEY come to vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal.

CBI President John Allan will open Monday's annual conference by admitting that while the Prime Minister's deal is not perfect, it is a lot better than leaving with no deal - an outcome he will describe as a "wrecking ball".

Mrs May, speaking later, will have the chance to sell the deal herself.

She is expected to focus on how immigration will change after the UK leaves the EU, which is an area of concern for many businesses.

Competition for workers

She will say that EU nationals will no longer be able to "jump the queue" ahead of skilled workers from India or Australia.

While business approves of the government's plans to make it easier for more high-skilled workers to come to the UK from outside the EU, business leaders are worried about her plans to make it much harder to access workers of lower skill levels.

Unemployment is at historic lows and 130,000 EU nationals left the UK in the last 12 months.

Competition for workers has seen welcome rises in average pay in recent months but businesses are reporting acute skills shortages in some areas, including construction.

While most businesses will support Mrs May for fear of a no deal - in picking immigration as a focus, she's chosen one subject this audience has serious doubts about.

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