Thyssenkrupp UK boss says Tories have failed business in Brexit approach


The UK boss of one of Germany’s largest industrial firms has slammed the Conservative party for putting its own interests ahead of business in its Brexit approach.

Terry Sargeant, chairman and chief executive of Thyssenkrupp in the UK, described the handling of Brexit a “complete shambles” in an interview with The Guardian.

“They have failed business,” he said.

“The Tory party aren’t making decisions for business, they are making decisions to prevent an implosion in their own party.”

Mr Sargeant, who is a lifelong Conservative voter, said he would never vote for the party again as a result of its handling of Brexit.

He said he thought there was a faction of the party that “just don’t care about business”.

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson caused outrage in the business community when reports emerged that he had said “f**k business” when questioned by diplomats over Brexit.

Mr Sargeant also warned that the outlook for businesses operating in the UK was negative, with the “working man” likely to be hit hardest.

“The impact of Brexit for multinationals is disruptive, and could lead to loss of business in Britain,” he said.

He added: “We (as businesses) will make decisions based on ease of trade and attractiveness of the market environment.

“If you make a market more difficult than it is at the moment, then what is the attraction to the investor?

“I do not see how we can continue doing business where supply chains are so interlinked with being part of the customs union.”

Thyssenkrupp signed a joint venture with Tata Steel earlier this year in a move which was praised by unions for its commitment to preserving jobs.

Tata employs 8,500 UK workers, including 6,250 in Wales.

Thyssenkrupp is also the main supplier of steel to Airbus and Boeing.