UK investment spending slashed, growth heading downwards: Deloitte and EY are the latest to sound the Brexit alert with two reports on the impact on the UK economy. David Pollard reports.
A new tone of conciliation from the former leader of Britain's Brexit campaign - as he visits Brussels for the first time as the UK's new foreign minister. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "We have to give effect to the will of the people and leave the European Union but that in no sense means that we are leaving Europe." Britain has repeatedly said it won't trigger the formal mechanism of separation with the EU until it's good and ready. But the sense of urgency for a trade deal with the EU is mounting. Deloitte warns that over four fifths of finance chiefs from FTSE 350 and large private companies expect to cut capital spending in the next year. That compares to just over a third in the first quarter. In its report, EY says growth this year will tick down to 1.9 per cent from 2.3. Next year, it sees just 0.4 per cent. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NICK PARSONS, GLOBAL HEAD FX STRATEGY, NAB, SAYING: "What the Brexit vote does is it accelerates and worsens a trend slowdown that was already in place and it then puts the UK economy into reverse." But as much as Boris Johnson's elevation to the role of foreign minister was controversial, it could offer too the prospect of greater political stability as the UK enters its crucial post-referendum phase. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NICK PARSONS, GLOBAL HEAD FX STRATEGY, NAB, SAYING: "The hope is that by appointing politicians who were on the Leave campaign that perhaps there is more chance for scope of a deal or a compromise that wouldn't necessarily lead to another split in the ruling Conservative party." A separate survey from the British Retail Consortium showed the number of shoppers heading to high streets and retail centers also fell. And - at the fastest pace in more than two years in June, with the weeks around the referendum particularly badly hit.