UK businesses welcome May’s free trade call but warn of no-deal Brexit disaster

Airlines and auto industry remain concerned over race to secure a deal that can retain access to European single market

British businesses have cautiously welcomed the prime minister’s pledge to work for a “bold and ambitious free trade agreement” with the EU as part of the Brexit negotiations, but reiterated warnings that it would be disastrous for the UK to leave without a deal.

Concerns have been rising among businesses in recent weeks that the UK could be heading towards a hard Brexit that would mean paying World Trade Organisation tariffs of about 5% on imports and exports with Europe.

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