Commenting on the collapse of Thomas Cook, Anna Soubry MP, former business minister and leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“The devastating news about Thomas Cook is a sobering reminder about how the Brexit crisis is already impacting the real world away from the machinations of party-political conference season. Brexit has been a significant factor in the travel firm’s collapse and a warning that things could get a lot worse for many companies if Boris Johnson gets his way.
“The company’s crash into administration means thousands of families now face a Christmas blighted by unemployment and fears about paying rent, mortgages and household bills. Many thousands more will have had their hopes for a special holiday ruined. These are the real-world costs of Brexit.
“In the Spring, when the firm reported a £1.5 billion loss, Thomas Cook’s chief executive blamed the uncertainty around Brexit for consumer reluctance to commit to overseas holidays, and the collapse in the value of the pound since 2016 has left the UK-based company in ever more difficult circumstances.
“Under any sort of Brexit, uncertainty would be a fact of business life: negotiations and renegotiations will go on for years, piling mistrust in the future upon doubt about the present in the minds of consumers, investors and bankers. That is just about the very worst environment for any business.
“Advocates of a No Deal exit cleverly market their plan to leave the EU with nothing as a ‘clean break’, but it is nothing of the sort. No Deal will lead to the longest and hardest of negotiations, because no one seriously thinks we can face the long-term with no proper trading arrangements with our nearest neighbours and biggest customers. No Deal isn’t a negotiator’s silver bullet, it is a poison pill for British business.
“Thomas Cook shows that the Westminster obsession with Brexit has a cost in the real world which too many in politics ignore. Brexit is too big to be left to politicians alone as our gridlocked political system shows. It must go back to the people for the final say.
“We cannot trust Boris Johnson on Brexit, so let us trust the people in a People’s Vote instead. That is the only fair and democratic way forward.”
Notes to editors
Sprint results announcement discussed here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/thomas-cook-share-price-profit-loss-results-brexit-travel-flights-a8916061.html