Commenting on news that Downing Street have approached leaders across a number of British businesses, including FTSE 100 companies, asking them to sign a letter backing the government's Brexit strategy, Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable said:
"It's interesting the government want to start a letter signing competition on this. I rather suspect the number of businesses wanting to remain in the single market and customs union far exceed those gagging to leave it.
"It's already becoming clear that their so-called transitional arrangement, designed to appease the business community, is not going to work.
"The government has unwisely made a unilateral commitment to break the rules around freedom of movement and in doing so, won't be able to secure the agreement of the EU on transitional trading arrangements.
"Rather than wasting their time touting for signatures, the government should be concentrating on making swift and concrete progress in these vital Brexit negotiations. As it stands, the UK risks crashing out of the EU without any deal at all, with disastrous consequences for our economy."