Belfast Telegraph

Investors not willing to risk putting money into UK economy: CBI boss

By Shaun Connolly

Twin threats are being posed to the UK economy by the prospect of a re-nationalisation programme, or a hard Brexit, the head of the CBI has said.

The business organisation's president Paul Drechsler insisted either scenario would damage Britain and its international reputation.

In a speech to business leaders in London last night, Mr Drechsler said that such "era defining" decisions must be made on an evidence-based evaluation of their impact on the economy, rather than political ideology. He said: "The UK must navigate its way between two significant threats.

"On the one hand, there's a real risk of a hard Brexit.

"On the other there's a nationalising ideology.

"Now, some are saying 'Don't worry, it's not going to happen. We'll get a Brexit deal'.

"And 'no-one's going to be taking private assets into state hands'. That may be. I don't make predictions. Not when it comes to politics.

"But, the first lesson in business is, confidence is everything. And every day, I'm hearing of potential investors in this country reaching for their coats. Because they're not going to risk putting their money into an economy that soon might face export barriers to its single biggest market.

"Let alone invest in companies, assets and services that could soon be taken over by the state."

Mr Drechsler said lessons needed to be learned from the collapse of Carillion, although he pointed out that "most public-private partnerships work well".

Belfast Telegraph

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