More than 70 business leaders back second referendum calls

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More than 70 business leaders have backed a second Brexit referendum, warning that the UK faces “either a blindfold or a destructive hard Brexit” that would be bad for both firms and jobs.

Waterstones chief executive James Daunt, ex-Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King, Lastminute.com founder Baroness Lane-Fox and Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed are among signatories of a letter calling for a People’s Vote on leaving the European Union. The letter argues that both the Government’s current plans for Brexit, and a no-deal Brexit, would leave the country worse off than they were in the EU if the country left in March.

Two-thirds of people across the UK now back a second referendum on Brexit, new polling shows . Picture: Getty Images

Two-thirds of people across the UK now back a second referendum on Brexit, new polling shows . Picture: Getty Images

Other people who put their name to the letter include Cobra Beer founder Lord Bilimoria, former Marks & Spencer chairman and ex-Labour peer Lord Myners, Alex Chesterman, founder of the Zoopla property website, and Sir Simon Robertson, the ex-chairman of Rolls-Royce.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Tony Blair has written in the Observer that MPs should “resist” agreeing to what may be labelled a “reasonable deal”, adding: “There is the pointless, the painful or fudge through postponement of the core issues. Each option is bad. MPs should vote it down and give the people the final say.”

The signatories – all acting in personal capacities – come from various areas of commerce, including finance, retail, and food and drink. They are the latest group to call for a second referendum, with a rally demanding a fresh referendum a fortnight ago seeing a crowd estimated at more than half a million people march through London.