BREAKING NEWS Jackson County real estate, tag and titles offices closed due to coronavirus case Full Story

Business sounds alarm over Brexit 'chronic uncertainty'

Companies are heaping pressure on the British government to explain its plan for Brexit.Foreign automakers, Br...

Posted: Feb 8, 2018 7:40 PM
Updated: Feb 8, 2018 7:40 PM

Companies are heaping pressure on the British government to explain its plan for Brexit.

Foreign automakers, British banks and thousands of companies are urging Prime Minister Theresa May to provide clarity about future trade with the European Union.

"There is no room for continued ambiguity as companies make investment and hiring decisions," the British Chambers of Commerce wrote Wednesday in a letter to May.

"The government must set out its plans," added the group, which represents companies with 6 million workers.

Britain will leave the EU in just 13 months, but May's cabinet is still divided over how close a relationship the country should seek to retain with its biggest export market.

May meets senior ministers this week in an attempt to settle on a way forward, but she has been conspicuously silent even as businesses cry out for clarity.

Uncertainly is already dragging down the U.K. economy, which is now the slowest growing in Europe and the G7.

Related: The CNNMoney Brexit jobs tracker

May will also meet Thursday with investors and executives from Japan.

Many Japanese corporations have invested heavily in the U.K., including global banking giant Nomura and top automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda.

Japan published a detailed list of its concerns about Brexit shortly after Brits voted in the EU referendum in 2016.

Japanese firms wanted reassurances that the U.K. would seek to limit any "harmful effects" on their businesses, according to the government document.

It warned that those with European headquarters in the U.K. may move those functions elsewhere in Europe "if EU laws cease to be applicable in the U.K. after its withdrawal."

Japan's foreign ministry confirmed Thursday that it stands by the memo.

The top European executive from Nissan, which employs nearly 7,000 people at the U.K.'s largest car factory, attended the meeting with May, along with representatives from Hitachi, Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, SoftBank and Mizuho.

Related: Britain's most painful Brexit choice is all about trade

Urgent requests for clarity are also being made on behalf of banks and financial services companies.

Nicky Morgan, a lawmaker who chairs the influential Treasury committee in the House of Commons, accused the government of throwing the sector into a "chronic state of uncertainty."

Many companies will begin to activate contingency plans for Brexit next month, but still don't know what the government hopes to achieve in terms of access to European markets, she said in a statement.

"The clock is ticking for the financial services industry," Morgan added.

Consulting firm Oliver Wyman estimates that 75,000 finance jobs could be lost in the long term if Brexit goes badly.

The U.K. government says it believes it can achieve "as frictionless as possible" trade with the EU because doing so is in the interest of both parties.

Even if top British politicians can settle on a preferred option, there's no guarantee it will be accepted by the EU.

"This is a crucial year for the Brexit negotiations and of course we will all be better informed, we hope, by certainly this time next year about the future trading relationship with the EU," Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Thursday.

-- Simon Cullen, Chris Liakos, Ivana Kottasov- and Yoko Wakatsuki contributed reporting.

Huntsville
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 65°
Florence
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 66°
Fayetteville
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 64°
Decatur
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 66°
Scottsboro
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 66°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 131405

Reported Deaths: 2292
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19015337
Mobile13066289
Montgomery8674173
Madison758375
Tuscaloosa7240114
Lee571359
Shelby568450
Baldwin506149
Marshall383543
Etowah335547
Calhoun333839
Morgan319726
Houston270822
Elmore254947
DeKalb235519
St. Clair223435
Walker222680
Talladega206926
Limestone199519
Cullman184517
Dallas174826
Franklin174328
Russell17132
Autauga169024
Lauderdale164633
Colbert160626
Escambia156225
Blount155114
Jackson150611
Chilton148527
Dale133043
Covington130927
Coffee12778
Pike11559
Tallapoosa113683
Chambers113042
Clarke104917
Marion94228
Butler90938
Barbour8357
Winston70912
Marengo69919
Lowndes64827
Pickens63514
Bibb63210
Hale61528
Randolph60812
Bullock58714
Lawrence58520
Monroe5758
Geneva5724
Cherokee56516
Washington54613
Clay5427
Perry5376
Wilcox53111
Conecuh52311
Crenshaw52331
Macon47720
Henry4724
Fayette4219
Sumter41819
Lamar3462
Choctaw34512
Cleburne3236
Greene30015
Coosa1643
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 183514

Reported Deaths: 2218
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30062447
Davidson25972289
Hamilton910688
Rutherford898687
Knox892372
Williamson507736
Sumner468693
Wilson335841
Putnam306137
Montgomery295243
Out of TN294423
Unassigned28816
Bradley285016
Madison264156
Sevier251513
Blount243323
Maury223823
Washington216732
Robertson216233
Sullivan205131
Hamblen183625
Tipton173317
Trousdale16517
Hardeman152925
Gibson152319
Wayne14795
Bedford130516
Dyer126612
Dickson119312
Cumberland115217
Fayette113918
Carter112427
Henderson112419
Anderson112311
Weakley111719
Loudon11126
Greene110637
Coffee109712
Obion10889
Jefferson106614
McMinn106324
Macon101519
Warren10077
Monroe99516
Hardin96714
Lawrence95411
Lauderdale93715
Haywood91816
Franklin9067
Lake8732
Bledsoe8464
Roane8354
Carroll82917
McNairy80716
Cheatham78810
White7769
Rhea77211
Hawkins76616
Cocke7329
Marshall7135
Overton6784
Smith67310
Johnson6452
Henry6019
Chester5859
Lincoln5781
Giles56017
DeKalb54411
Hickman5304
Crockett50919
Marion4997
Decatur4706
Fentress4323
Claiborne4254
Campbell4163
Polk37711
Grainger3492
Union3341
Benton3329
Jackson3054
Morgan3043
Unicoi2771
Cannon2750
Grundy2465
Humphreys2273
Sequatchie2223
Meigs2203
Scott2002
Clay1875
Houston1850
Lewis1771
Stewart1732
Moore1531
Van Buren1530
Perry1430
Hancock1073
Pickett962

Community Events