Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes after the revelation that factory shutdowns designed to cope with disruption from the previous deadline – March 29 – slashed UK car production in April by almost 45 per cent. His comments came in the wake of the news that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had caved in to demands from senior figure within his party to back a second referendum on any Brexit deal. Mr Green said: “The ongoing Brexit nightmare is unlikely to end on Halloween.
“After three years, the uncertainty grows rather than recedes. Who will be the Prime Minister that will take the UK out of the EU?
“Will there be a second referendum and what would be on the ballot paper? How does the rise and rise of the Brexit Party fragment politics further?
“Will Britain leave with no deal? What impact would operating on WTO rules mean for the world’s fifth largest economy and its trading partners?
“Brexit has thrown Britain into a profound existential crisis.”
Mr Green lamented the amount of time devoted to Brexit in Parliament, suggesting it had prevented MPs from tackling any other business.
He added: “Imagine what amazing social and economic progress could have been achieved if the media, political life and the civil service had been dominated by ‘best in class’ individuals and organisations building an inclusive, long-term, sustainable economic growth strategy for the last three years?
“Imagine if these three years had been about retaining existing and welcoming new investment into the UK?
“Imagine if the industries of the future, such as fintech, blockchain and clean energy, had been developed to secure jobs and wealth creators of the next generation?
“Imagine if Britain hadn’t spent three years inflicting reputational damage upon itself on the world stage?
“But instead, the UK has lost three years going around in circles trying to construct a deal that gives us some of what it’s got now.”
He continues: “Brexit Britain has cost billions upon billions of pounds.
“Indeed, it has cost the UK economy a staggering £66bn in just under three years, according to S&P Global Ratings.
“Speaking from experience, the lack of confidence in the UK’s vital financial services sector – which contributes 6.5 per cent to Britain’s GDP – is at an all-time low.
“Following years of uncertainty and a lack of leadership from all parties, many companies across the sector have relocated parts of their business or key staff to places like Paris, Luxembourg, Dublin, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, or setting up legal entities in the EU. Once they’ve gone, they are unlikely to return. And this is just one sector.
“There’s also been the significant drop in the value of the pound. This has contributed to reducing people’s purchasing power. Weaker sterling means imports are more expensive, with rising prices typically being passed on to consumers.”
Mr Green also said the Government alone had already spent almost £4.5billion on Brexit, £4.2 billion towards government departments for Brexit preparations since 2016 plus the £269million costs of the 2017 general election without even taking into consideration the proposed £39billion divorce bill.
He said: “With so many serious and far-reaching questions hanging ominously unanswered – and more growing each week – Brexit Britain’s Lost Years are not even close to being over.
“The haemorrhaging of opportunity and money will continue far beyond the deadline.”