Many in the business community are worried by the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, in which the UK crashes out of the European Union without an agreement governing trade tariffs and other issues.
The head of Amazon’s UK division, Doug Gurr, has warned Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab that the country could face “civil unrest” weeks after it leaves the EU without a deal, joining an increasingly loud chorus of concerned business executives, The Guardian wrote.
Gurr reportedly made the comment when Raab was meeting with a group of senior business executives on Friday.
“We remain concerned by the danger of a hard (‘no-deal’) Brexit in March 2019,” the Dublin-based carrier said in a statement on Monday.
Gurr’s comments angered Brexiteers, who suggested that the international retailer was worried that it would be forced to pay more in taxes following Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
“Out of Europe we will be able to take back control of our tax system — including making @amazon collect UK VAT as they are now required to do in Australia,” Dover MP Charlie Elphicke said:
“No wonder they want us to sign up to stop us doing that,” he added.
Former Tory minister Robert Halfon said: “More likely to be civil unrest when Amazon delivery drones drop packages in wrong garden/or front drive.”
British business executives’ concerns increased after Dominic Raab accused Brussels of exaggerating the risks that a no-deal Brexit could pose to UK-based EU nationals.
Raab said that he would return to Brussels for talks on Thursday and try everything he could to get the best deal possible.
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Several major companies, including Airbus and Jaguar Land Rover, say they might have to move jobs and investment out of the country.
The airline Ryanair said on Monday that the chance of a no-deal scenario could be close at hand.
The United Kingdom is currently part of the EU’s single market, but if London leaves it after Brexit, Britain will have to negotiate new trade deals with its partners, including the United States.