Europe

UK business leader warns over Brexit's 'worst-case scenario'

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)  (The Associated Press)

The president of one Britain's biggest business lobby groups is to warn of the devastating consequences of the country leaving the European Union without having secured a wide-ranging trade deal.

In prepared remarks for a speech due later Thursday, Paul Drechsler will say that a "'no deal' scenario would open a Pandora's Box of economic consequences."

If Britain ends up leaving the EU without a deal, it would have to rely on so-called World Trade Organization rules.

For Drechsler, this "worst-case scenario" would hurt firms on both sides.

Britain, he added, would face tariffs on 90 percent of its EU exports by value and a raft of new regulatory hurdles. As a member of the 28-country bloc, British firms don't have to pay any tariffs to trade in the EU.