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Commenting on the request for an extension of Article 50, Stephen Phipson, Chief Executive of Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:

‘It is now 1000 days since we voted to leave the EU. Despite that, we are now in a position where the world’s fifth biggest economy has no idea what the trading relationship with its biggest market will be in nine days’ time. We are moving from farce to tragedy. 

‘The only thing likely to worsen the current picture is leaving the EU without a deal, which would be catastrophic for the manufacturing sector which is so dependent on frictionless trade, common standards and regulation.

‘As a result, we conditionally support the Prime Minister’s decision to seek a short extension to Article 50. We do so on the express condition that the Government and Parliament use this time to relentlessly pursue a clear outcome that protects our trading relationship and provides certainty as quickly as possible. Delay for delays sake will simply make an appalling situation worse.’

News / Leaving the EU