Published: 10:25, 10 January 2019
| Updated: 10:27, 10 January 2019
Business secretary and Kent MP Greg Clark says uncertainty over Brexit is causing mounting alarm amongst companies and investors in the UK.
Mr Clark, the Tunbridge Wells MP, said that the impasse over the terms of the UK's departure from the EU was shaking the confidence of investors.
He warned that the consequences of a no-deal Brexit would be far-reaching.
MPs are due to vote on the government's Brexit deal next Tuesday amid continuing uncertainty over whether it will get the support of the Commons.
Mr Clark said:“In recent weeks, confidence from investors has been shaken. Debates in Parliament are monitored closely, and with mounting alarm, in boardrooms around the world.”
“The dire prospect that we could tolerate trading with our largest and closest market on WTO (world trade organisations) terms - the most rudimentary that exist between any nations on earth - is bewildering to them.
“And when hundreds of millions of pounds are having to be diverted by companies from productive investments into defending themselves against the risk of no deal - through piling up stocks, renting warehouses and planning shutdowns of production - investors have every right to object.”
"Debates in Parliament are monitored closely, and with mounting alarm, in boardrooms around the world...” Greg Clark MP
In an article for the website Politico, he urged MPs to “move quickly and act responsibly to establish what will, and will not, command support.”
He wrote: “Parliament can establish that it wants no deal to be ruled out. Most MPs, across the house, including many in government, would not countenance leaving on March 29 with no agreement.
"Once that was clearly demonstrated, then parliament could make a clearer choice of how to proceed. It is not sufficient to record a disapproval of no deal — a further step would need to be taken to prevent it happening by default.
“This is a time for parliament to come together and work intensively to establish an agreement that can command majority support."