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Image / Editorial

British Fashion Council calls for a second Brexit referendum


by Erin Lindsay
17th Jan 2019

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has called for a People’s Vote on Brexit after the government failed to agree on a deal for their withdrawal from the European Union.

The BFC released an official statement after British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a staggering defeat at the House of Commons, where her Brexit agreement was voted down by 432 votes to 202.

Related: Tonight’s Brexit vote: everything you need to know

“As the British Fashion Council, we cannot emphasise strongly enough that a no-deal Brexit is a scenario that should be avoided at all costs,” the BFC said. “The ongoing uncertainty and confusion that a no deal creates will have a negative impact on our industry, where investment is already impacted from the uncertainty being faced. A no-deal situation will result in no transition period, and with an industry that is predominantly small-medium enterprises, we would struggle to cope with the trade realities that it would bring.”

The BFC previously took a survey in 2016 of UK designer businesses, where they asked would their preference be to Remain or Leave the EU. The response was overwhelmingly to Remain, with 90% of designers wanting to stay in the EU.

Theresa May now faces a vote of no-confidence in the British parliament, and the future of Brexit (whether a deal will be agreed upon, whether there will be no-deal, or possibly a People’s Vote) is increasingly unclear. The BFC have said that the uncertainty has lead them to campaign for a People’s Vote, “to minimize the impact to industry based on there being no valid deal on the table.”

Featured image: Katharine Hamnett’s London Fashion Week AW18 show, via Instagram

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