WARM congratulations to our most excellent business lobby group, the CBI, which has skillfully managed to secure from politicians everything its members wanted from what could have been a Brexit debacle.
Ok, I’m being facetious. And unfair. The CBI and others such as the IoD have a tough job at the best of times.
Their members don’t always have the same goals so presenting a united front can be tricky.
In this case, no one could have persuaded MPs to agree on a deal, since they manifestly do not agree on anything.
So we’ll admit the lobbyists had an impossible job, this time.
In all fairness to the CBI, it was the first biz org to call for transition – which became govt policy – and then a customs union – which became established Labour policy. So perhaps the voice is business is being heard loud and clear in the places that matter.
More generally, hacks tend to regard the CBI and other groups that speak for business with frustration. It can be tough for individual business people to really stick their neck out on issues, since they risk alienating customers. But surely the CBI could be more outspoken than it tends to be.
Newspapers are nearly all pro-business in general, even if they are sometimes at war with individual businesses. So there’s not much risk to the CBI and others really going for it when matters arise.
If there was ever a time for the CBI and others to drop caution and go for it, it must be now.