A major business chief operating in the United Kingdom has criticized the way the government and the parliament are handling the country’s withdrawal from the European Union, saying Britain, once praised for its economic and political stability, is becoming a global laughing stock.
Juergen Maier, who serves as the UK head of German industrial giant Siemens, said in an open letter to British lawmakers published on Monday that the political standoff over Brexit was wrecking Britain’s reputation of business stability.
“Where the UK used to be beacon for stability, we are now becoming a laughing stock,” said Maier, adding, “It has been clear for weeks, that the only way that this will be resolved is through compromise between the government and parliament.”
The letter comes amid growing uncertainty over how and whether Britain would leave the EU this month as demanded by law. A Brexit deal signed between the government and the EU in November has been rejected by the parliament for three times and rival factions in the House of Commons are competing for their desired Brexit outcomes, including a no-deal exit, a much softer divorce or an election.
Maier said it was becoming increasingly difficult for people like him to win the trust of the boards of the international companies for future business activities in the UK. He called for a softer Brexit while warning that the threat of “hugely damaging no-deal Brexit” was the main problem for businesses and their future plans in the UK.
“Enough is enough. We are all running out of patience. Make a decision and unite around a customs union compromise that delivers economic security and stability,” he said in his letter published by website Politico.
Britain is expected to either ratify the Brexit deal until April 12 to secure a short extension from the EU to implement the withdrawal process. Otherwise, London should either leave the EU without a deal on that date or seek a long extension to come up with a new solution.