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More than 70 top business leaders call for second Brexit referendum

Baku, November 6, AZERTAC

More than 70 major business leaders have called for a second referendum on Brexit, according to Standard.co.uk

Bosses from major high street companies such as Waterstones and Sainsbury’s warned Theresa May’s Brexit proposals are “bad for business and bad for working people”.

Waterstones chief executive James Daunt, ex-Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King, Lastminute.com founder Baroness Lane-Fox and Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed were among signatories of a letter calling for a People's Vote on leaving the EU.

The letter argues both the government's plans for Brexit and a no-deal Brexit would leave the country worse off than it would being part of the EU.

Other people who put their name to the letter include Cobra Beer founder Lord Bilimoria, former Marks and Spencer chairman and ex-Labour peer Lord Myners, Zoopla property website founder Alex Chesterman and ex-Rolls Royce chairman Sir Simon Robertson.

The letter stated: "The business community was promised that, if the country voted to leave, there would continue to be frictionless trade with the EU and the certainty about future relations that we need to invest for the long term.

“Despite the Prime Minister's best efforts, the proposals being discussed by the government and the European Commission fall far short of this, and they are not nearly as good as the current deal we have inside the EU.

"We are now facing either a blindfold or a destructive hard Brexit. Both these options will further depress investment. They will be bad for business and bad for working people.

A spokesman said: “The people of the UK have already had their say in one of the biggest democratic exercises this country has ever seen, and the Prime Minister has made it clear that there is not going to be a second referendum.

"We remain confident we will agree a mutually advantageous deal with the EU, that works for business and the economy."

The business leaders’ call comes after a rally demanding a fresh referendum saw half a million people march through central London two weeks ago.

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