Brexit: Business leaders call for second EU vote" width="976" height="549">
Authors of the letter say the original ballot did not reflect the choices now facing the UK
More than 70 business leaders have signed a letter to the Sunday Times calling for a public vote on the UK's Brexit deal.The chief executive of Waterstones and former Sainsbury's boss Justin King are among those saying a "destructive hard Brexit" will damage the UK economy.A group called Business for a People's Vote will launch on Thursday.Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out a second vote on membership of the EU, and says an exit deal is close.The letter was coordinated by The People's Vote campaign, which wants a ballot on whether to accept the terms of the UK's departure from the European Union.
Richard Reed, the co-founder of Innocent Drinks, Lord Myners, the former chairman of Marks and Spencer and Martha Lane Fox, the founder of, also signed the letter.
How will Parliament vote on a final dealAll you need to know about Brexit
It reads: "The business community was promised that, if the country voted to leave, there would continue to be frictionless trade with the EU and the certainty about future relations that we need to invest for the long term.
"Despite the Prime Minister's best efforts, the proposals being discussed by the government and the European Commission fall far short of this. "The uncertainty over the past two years has already led to a slump in investment."
'Multiple uncertainties'
The letter concludes: "We are now facing either a blindfold or a destructive hard Brexit. "Given that neither was on the ballot in 2016, we believe the ultimate choice should be handed back to the public with a People's Vote." Waterstones chief executive James Daunt told the BBC: "All the paper we use is imported. We rely on just-in-time methods and now there are multiple uncertainties."The Prime Minister has said that asking the public to vote again would be a betrayal of the public's trust.The government says it is prepared for a no-deal scenario, but expects a deal with the EU on Brexit to be struck soon.
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