Jan 30, 2018
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House of Fraser owner demands Brexit clues from PM

Jan 30, 2018

UK businesses are becoming increasingly frustrated at the slow pace of Brexit talks and want to know just what kind of Brexit deal the government is aiming for as the countdown to Britain’s March 2019 EU exit continues.

House of Fraser/Maison de Nimes

Now the chairman of House of Fraser’s Chinese parent company has called on Prime  Minister Theresa May to provide a “definite signal” about what sort of Brexit her government wants.

May is set to visit China and Sanpower chairman Yuan Yafei told the BBC that although he isn’t expecting Brexit to be a disaster, the PM needs to be clearer about what she expects from it.

House of Fraser has around 17,000 UK employees and a business that’s exposed mainly to the UK consumer market and so has a strong interest in how strong (or weak) the British economy will be in the next few years.

Not that the UK is HoF’s only focus. Sanpower has controlled the business for around four years and is expected to expand it further in China after opening its first store there in late 2016.

Yafei’s call for Brexit clarity comes on the day that a leaked report prepared for the Department for Exiting the EU showed that whatever kind of deal Britain ends up with, its economy will suffer. No deal - the so-called hard Brexit - would see the country sacrificing 8% of the growth it might have seen over the next 15 years. A comprehensive free trade agreement, or a soft Brexit, would still see the country missing out on 5% of its potential growth.

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