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UK PM tackles 'cliff-edge' Brexit fears

Monday, November 21, 2016 - 01:42

British Prime Minister Theresa May unveils her new industrial strategy, pledging to spend billions of pounds on science, technology and research to spur a new way of doing business in Britain. As Ciara Lee reports, May is keen to get business leaders on side as she faces the complex negotiations over the UK's divorce from the European Union.

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She's been working hard in recent weeks to reach out to Britain's business community . And as Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the CBI, a leading business organisation, Brexit again took centre stage. With easing concerns top of her agenda, May's words hinted at a transitional deal being more likely than a hard exit from the EU. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY, SAYING: I'm conscious that there will be issues that will need to be looked at. I understand the point that has been made, other have made the point, that people don't want a cliff-edge, they want to know with some certainty how things are going to go forward. That will be part of the work that we do in terms of the negotiation that we're undertaking with the European Union." The president of the CBI told the conference that businesses want clarity and "above all, a plan" Many feel there is still too much uncertainty over what happens next, and how Britain's departure will impact the economy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR FX STRAEGIST, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "There has been a lot of focus on the Autumn statement really since the June referendum on the UK's EU membership. And this is because of the concern really about investment and the fear that the UK could lose inward investment and private sector investment because of this question mark about the membership of the EU single market." But Brexit uncertainty isn't spooking everyone. Facebook is to expand its UK presence by 50 percent next year. The social network firm is to hire 500 new staff, as it gears up to open a new headquarters in London next year. It's joining Google in boosting investment in Britain. Before the referendum, campaigners had warned that international companies could seek to reduce their presence in Britain.

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UK PM tackles 'cliff-edge' Brexit fears

Monday, November 21, 2016 - 01:42