Master Cutler calls for smooth Brexit to ensure best business deal

Master Cutler Ken Cooke in the opulent Cutlers' Hall.
Master Cutler Ken Cooke in the opulent Cutlers' Hall.

The Master Cutler has said disrupting the Brexit process would “split the country again” harming business - as arch remainer Andrew Adonis prepares his headline speech for the 382nd Cutlers’ Feast.

Ken Cooke, boss of CTW Hardfacing, said the Government’s timetable for negotiating the best deal was so tight “another barrier” in the form of delays was “not a good thing.”

And he insisted manufacturing would take the punches and move ahead.

Lord Adonis will appear at the ‘white tie’ event at the Cutlers’ Hall on May 17. He is a vociferous opponent of Brexit and a former chair of the National Infrastructure Commission and a former Labour education and transport minister

Mr Cooke said: “We saw him as a good speaker, someone with a sharp mind and experience in many fields. In the last two years we have had the secretary of state for business and we wanted to challenge ourselves with what he may put to us.

“From Brexit, we need a good exit strategy and the best deal for business. I’m apolitical, but from my personal viewpoint we are committed to this.

“In manufacturing people take the punches and move ahead. Whatever happens we will move ahead with it.

“Whether you believed the EU created this situation or not, they would harm themselves by making life difficult for us.

“We should be in a position to move to a smoother negotiated and mutually beneficial exit.

“If you have any faith at all that we have a future, we ought to be fighting for it and that’s by not by disrupting the process. The timetable to get the deal finalised is so tight, we don’t want to put another barrier there and one that would split the country again is not a good thing.”

Lord Adonis quit as chair of Theresa May’s National Infrastructure Commission over Brexit in December.

On Radio Four last week Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Drinks, claimed 85 per cent of British manufacturers want the Customs Union and 75 per cent of British trade is within existing EU trade deals.