Amazon UK boss: No-deal Brexit will lead to “civil unrest”

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The head of Amazon in the UK, Doug Gurr, has been reported as saying that the UK faces “civil unrest” within weeks of a no-deal Brexit as the country faces numerous problems should it drop out of the union without new arrangements in place.

Needless to say, the government has dismissed the claim and says the main aim is still a functioning agreement that will hopefully be in place by October. On the specific “civil unrest” claim a Number 10 spokesperson said: “Where is the evidence to suggest that would happen?” Amazon has refused to confirm or deny whether Gurr did indeed make the comment at a meeting of business leaders at the end of last week.

Like any business, we consider a wide range of scenarios in planning discussions so that we’re prepared to continue serving customers and small businesses who count on Amazon, even if those scenarios are very unlikely. This is not specific to any one issue – it’s the way we plan for any number of issues around the world.
– Amazon UK

Gurr was at a meeting convened by Dominic Raab, the government’s new Brexit secretary, at Chevening in Kent on Friday. Also present at the meeting were Barclays chairman, Sir Ian Cheshire; the chairman of supermarket Morrisons, Andy Higginson; the chief executive of Lloyd’s of London, Dame Inga Beale; and the UK chair of Shell, Sinead Lynch.

It is worth considering a worst case scenario whereby the UK leaves the EU without any deal whatsoever for immediate arrangements. Indeed, both the UK government and the European Union say they are increasingly working on contingency plans for such an outcome. But the more pessimistic commentators predicts food and medicine shortages.

It would be extremely interesting to understand exactly what it was that Gurr said, and indeed if he did make the claim about societal problems, exactly what he meant by them. As negotiations get ever closer to the wire, and the politicians seem ever more ideological and intransigent, voices from people in the real world of business speaking up are most welcome. Especially when it comes to the potential risks of no-deal.

7 Responses

  1. Amazon need to mind their own business. The sky is not going to fall in when we leave Europe. We can trade under WTO rules and still have trade agreements with Europe.

    The EU are expecting us to blink first next, but the UK wont.

  2. Civil unrest??? Seems a bit dramatic. However many people have been living on the edge for a fair few years, constant rising debt, poor living standards, poor work conditions, one heck of a mortgage bubble out there. It would not take much. There will be job losses people need to get real, my brother’s company is already preparing for its Brexit he already been told they are all getting their books.( big company also), going down the Maccy Dee route to lesson the risk.
    The politicians on all sides UK and EU are a total disgrace if you ask me, all following their warped ideologue.
    Companies like Amazon won’t want change WHY they are milking everything they can out of the UK and the EU, there one of the main issues we would get civil unrest, there one of the reasons we have a race to the bottom.
    It is never-ending mess, soon as that is over next thing we will get is another referendum in Scotland which will drag on for years., just never ends…I just turn over when the news is on now.
    Am just going keep doing what I can do to make a living. I thought we were getting some sort of transition period anyway where we can get left alone to trade (which is all we really want). Let’s hope common sense prevails.

  3. Amazon have every right to their view on this matter as does every other business and citizen of the UK.
    They are indeed trying to mind their own business, quite literally, by pointing out that crashing out of the EU without any deal or transition arrangements will rank as one of the worst examples of national self-harm by a developed country in recent history.

  4. “will rank as one of the worst examples of national self-harm by a developed country in recent history”
    What a load of rubbish. Obviously listening to the remain echo chamber too much. Trade with the EU will not stop. France will still be their, Germany will still be there. The vast majority of the world trade perfectly fine under the WTO. Take a chill pill. It will all be fine and we will all laugh how silly the doom and gloom merchants were. Just like we do now at the “Experts” BEFORE the the Referendum.

  5. did anyone notice the government’s white paper on a no-deal brexit?
    apparently Scotland will run out of food in 2 days if there’s a no-deal brexit.
    they’re already stocking up canned food and planning ration books. i kid you not.
    this is the government’s own official white paper. not some doomsday speculation.

    under those circumstances, yes there certainly will be civil unrest.
    you don’t need to be an expert analyst to predict that.

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