Clients are sick of government inaction on Brexit, says top agency boss

Written by David Singleton on 16 February 2018 in News

Iain Anderson's article was seized on by former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan.

The boss of one of the UK’s top independent lobbying firms has called on cabinet ministers to make fewer "grandiloquent speeches" about Brexit and to start taking decisions.

Writing for The Times, Cicero Consulting boss Iain Anderson made it clear that his clients are now exasperated with government inaction on the topic of leaving the European Union.

"From the 2016 referendum to the endless EU summitry to those high drama UK parliamentary votes I think we are all tiring of the political psychodrama. Certainly, I know business is heartily sick of it," he stated.

The Tory-supporting lobbyist - who advised Theresa May’s leadership campaign on business liaison - also recalled what one figure from a FTSE firm had told him this week: "We are now activating our plans almost as if the December deal had not been done.”

"We need fewer grandiloquent speeches from cabinet ministers and more decisions," he concluded.

Anderson’s piece was praised on social media by Treasury select committee chair and former education secretary Nicky Morgan, who agreed that "people now need Brexit detail".

It serves as the latest evidence that in-house public affairs professionals are deeply unhappy about Brexit.

Last year, Public Affairs News told how one leading lobbyist had described his work advising clients on Brexit as "more like therapy than consultancy".

"All of our clients were in favour of remain," said the senior public affairs man. He added: "Many of them now are extremely concerned about the amount of disruption, risk, uncertainty and the upset of the basis on which they do their business."

In an article for Total Politics today, Conservative lobbyist Owen Meredith has also called for the Tories to up their game on Brexit.

"We need the rhetoric of Global Britain to be matched with actions," stated Meredith, who is director of external affairs at the PPA and chairman of Tory Reform Group.

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