Sir Martin Sorrell pushes for “softer Brexit” following election announcement

The WPP chief executive has emphasised the importance of freedom of movement when it comes to Brexit negotiations.

Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP. Photo by Phil Adams

Sir Martin Sorrell has emphasised the importance of negotiating a “softer Brexit” deal with the European Union (EU), in light of Prime Minister Theresa May calling a snap General Election.

The WPP chief executive has suggested that May’s decision to announce the election – which will take place on 8 June – was made in order to allow for more “room to manoeuvre” when it comes to negotiating the UK’s departure from the EU over the next two years.

“Softer Brexit”

“What you saw from the markets yesterday was the strengthening of the Sterling and probably the belief that we will get a softer Brexit,” said Sorrell in an interview with BBC Radio 4.

Sorrell urged the Government to take advantage of the greater “wiggle room” provided by a potentially softer Brexit in order to allow for the free movement of people, saying that this is a key consideration for WPP and its businesses.

“Our business is a talent business, we invest about $12 billion (£9 billion) a year in people around the world,” he added.

“Enrich our business”

WPP is an international business with offices in 113 countries and approximately 200,000 employees worldwide, operating a number of brand consultancies including Landor, Fitch, The Partners and AKQA.

Sorrell has previously emphasised the importance of non-British EU nationals for WPP’s UK business, where they make up 15% of its workforce. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph in November 2016, Sorrell said “They enrich our business, they bring different qualities and fresh perspectives, they expand our horizons and they help us grow.”

Since the EU referendum last June, WPP has acquired businesses in Belgium and France, and invested in the company which founded French media outlets Le Monde and VICE France. It is currently also investing in a new home for its consultancies in Amsterdam, which will house 1,500 people and 30 businesses.

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