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CEO of Virgin Media UK Calls for Vital Clarity on Brexit to Avoid No Deal

Monday, January 14th, 2019 (7:57 am) - Score 2,251
tom mockridge virgin media uk ceo

The CEO of UK cable broadband ISP and TV operator Virgin Media, Tom Mockridge, has called on the country’s political parties to put their differences aside and deliver clarity when the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal with the EU is voted on tomorrow. “Clarity is vital … for the sake of stability and greater certainty,” said Tom.

There are few debates or decisions more divisive than Brexit. You can see that simply by talking to people in the street and by the on-going lack of any solid direction or agreement coming from MPs at Westminster. The country continues to be split and it seems increasingly unlikely that tomorrow’s key vote will bring any kind of resolution to this state of affairs before Brexit Day (29th March 2019).

The situation is particularly tedious for telecoms operators like Virgin Media, which is owned by Liberty Global that has various operators, complicated relationships and supply chains to consider across the EU. The company is currently investing c.£3bn into the UK to fuel its Project Lightning network expansion, which originally aspired to cover an extra 4 million UK premises by the end of 2019 but now seems likely to achieve far less.

Rival operators like BT, O2 and Vodafone are also in similarly complex positions, where any deviation from the current EU framework could create some difficult operational and financial challenges. On top of that some operators, such as BT, have large contracts with the EU’s political institutions that could now end up being scrapped in favour of sourcing similar services from rival EU based operators.

Tom Mockridge, CEO of Virgin Media, told ISPreview.co.uk:

“A no-deal Brexit would leave us with more questions than answers.

As a major investor in this country, clarity is vital – the uncertainty that has hung over British businesses for many months must come to an end.

Political differences should be put to one side for the sake of stability and greater certainty. That’s what Britain needs most at this time.”

Somehow we doubt that the certainty Virgin Media and others seek will arrive by the end of play tomorrow.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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23 Responses
  1. Avatar Phil

    Hang on…..UK voters doesn’t want PM brexit deal, no way! We are better off with no deal and tell EU to sod off as we will not paying any money to greedy EU members. Why UK always paying EU and what did EU do for us? NOTHING! End the EU now and we are not paying EU £39 billion pound divorce bill.

    UK voters has voted to leave mean LEAVE!

    • Avatar Pete Tong

      Have you been drinking heavily again Max?

      https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/

    • Avatar Spurple

      @mike, that was uncalled for.

    • Avatar Ian

      The EU did nothing?

      It’s the biggest using block in the world.

      There’s too much misinformation fisting around

      And there’s no need to be racist Mike

    • Avatar Ian

      The EU did nothing?

      It’s the biggest trading* block in the world.

      There’s too much misinformation floating around

      And there’s no need to be racist Mike

    • Avatar CarlT

      Many of us need jobs to enable us to pay taxes for things like your welfare, Phil.

      Good reasons why the majority of working age, and the majority of those in employment, went remain.

      Either way no deal is dumb. If it can be avoided without giving too much away it should be. This process has already cost more than the £39 billion.

    • Avatar Fred Standard

      Actually, all the quitters were promising deals. A Norway style deal, Canada+++ and all that BS.
      “Easiest deal in human history”,
      “They’ll be queuing up to make deals with us”,
      “we hold all the cards”,
      “absolutely nobody is talking about threatening our place in the single market”..
      ..I could go on..

      Not one of the Brexiter vanguard (even not Aaron Banks) said we’d be leaving as No Deal.
      No Deal is suicide and even the Brexiters understand this.
      WTO is more restrictive than any other deal.
      We’re just hurting ourselves.

      Brexit is costing the UK £500M per week, or £26B a year – shame we didn’t put that towards the NHS, infrastructure projects in the north, and affordable housing.

  2. Avatar Meadmodj

    The large international corporates should be mainly resilient against Brexit. BT for instance for legal reasons has always maintained its German and Italian legal entities. So in the main the key brands will simply trade via the appropriate companies whether we leave or not. In addition it will probably will not affect the investment plans of large companies. These will change if there is a down turn in economies.

    However Brexit does raise literally hundreds of thousands of issues for each of these companies that need to be addressed or mitigated and if needed expediently this costs money which naturally falls on us the consumers.

    It is disappointing that, as usual, the politicians have not found a consensus view as Brexit will always remain a festering issue where half the country wishes to impose their view on the other half regardless of where you stand on the issue.

    • Avatar Neb

      Sad state of affairs – our politics.
      Poor leadership and teamwork across the floor and first past the post preventing change or reason to work together as they undertake review after review, redrawing the political ward boundaries so the top parties continue on their course.

      True meaningful pragmatism is missing.

    • Avatar Spurple

      What implications do you think trading under your continental entity has for UK-based people who used to do that?

      Nobody’s worried about the multinationals, most people are just rightly concerned about being thrust back on the jobs market which may not have a lot of demand for labour at least early on.

  3. Avatar Bill

    Clarity? The underlying situation is very unclear so the last thing we need is a false sense of clarity.

  4. Avatar Optimist

    We are in a state of uncertainty because the government has wasted two and a half years “negotiating” with the EU rather than clarifying what we should be doing after we are out. MPs elected on a manifesto commitment to leaving the EU are now threatening to renege altogether – a recipe for instability, so it isn’t surprising that businesses are holding back on investment decisions.

  5. Avatar Ray Glendenning

    After the mess they left in our street theyvcan take a flying jump! Jerry cans and pot holes leftnin the new road surfaces :-/

  6. Avatar Marty

    When it comes to clarity I take them on there word with a bit of skepticism and say to myself ok fair point. With this guy though he remains as dodgy as some politicians when it comes to misleading people. So he can take his hypocritical views and jog on.

  7. Avatar Mark

    Why would anybody care what this man says? He’s part of a corporation that no doubt does very very very well out of the UK being a member of the EU. Like most corporations they don’t care about democracy, they care about profits and shares that the board can sell later for millions in personal profit.
    We won’t get what we deserve so no deal WTO is what we need. Remainers have seen to it we will never get a decent deal or planned no deal exit.

    • Avatar Spurple

      So if they do well by us being in the EU, how is that a bad thing?

    • Avatar Fred Standard

      The only countries to trade solely under WTO rules are
      Holy See
      Mauritania
      Monaco
      Montenegro
      Palau
      Timor-Leste
      Sao Tome and Principe
      Serbia
      Somalia
      South Sudan
      Sudan
      Western Sahara

      Do we really want to be like them?

      You have no idea what it means, you’re just repeating someone else’s tripe without any comprehension.

      No deal is suicide, pure and simple.

      It would mean significant tariffs on products, and it doesn’t cover many services.
      FFS we’d lose air travel rights and UK flights would have to be grounded.

    • Avatar Mark

      Firstly I would rather the people and the country as a whole do well and not just over paid board members at Virgin!

      And the only countries eh? Last time I checked the US and China didn’t have EU deals yet they are the biggest economies in the planet, to suggest we only work on WTO is to imply the UK is incapable of going out and striking its own deals… it’s a rather ignorant comment to make against the British people…

    • Avatar Fred Standard

      I would also rather the people and the country as a whole do well.
      Are you suggesting I don’t? I’m not sure why you mention it.
      The reason this country has such a north/south and london/elsewhere divide is not the EU. It’s our own parliament!
      Wales is one of the largest recipients of EU money in the UK. In recent years most UK employee protection laws have come from the EU. Without the weight of the EU we as a country would be at the mercy of large corporations.

      As to your second paragraph, I said solely, but as a Brexiter I know you’re not big on details. And where on earth did I suggest the UK wouldn’t be able to strike new deals? The problem is it takes a good 5-8 years to strike the deals. We’ll have lost our multi-national companies by then and Sterling would probably be tied to the Zimbabwean Dollar.

      And what’s the benefit of Brexit? I still haven’t found anyone who can tell me that. Even JRM said it could be 50 years before we might see any benefit.

      At the moment this Brexit flustercuck is costing us £500M a week. Wouldn’t it be better if we binned Brexit and put that money towards the NHS and affordable housing and job creation across the UK?

    • Avatar Optimist

      “Wales is one of the largest recipients of EU money in the UK.”
      It’s all UK taxpayers’ money – we pay in about £10 billion more than we get out every year.

      “In recent years most UK employee protection laws have come from the EU.”
      The UK introduced paid holidays before WW2, equal pay before we entered the EEC, and we have better maternity pay than in many EU countries. After we leave our own elected parliament will be in charge again.

      “Without the weight of the EU we as a country would be at the mercy of large corporations.”
      The EU is hand in glove with large corporations. It has actually facilitated grants for firms to relocate manufacturing from the UK.

      Less than 10% involved with exports to the EU, yet all businesses have to comply with EU single market rules. Consumers not allowed to buy powerful vacuum cleaners, kettles that boil water quickly. Tungsten lightbulbs banned because of the environment but CFLs containing mercury OK. Health supplements subject to same testing regimes as drugs.

      Proportion of exports to non-EU countries rising compared to exports to EU. We don’t need the EU.

      Finally, the EU is destrying the internet. The EU copyright directive is going to be brought back shortly, which will destroy small content creators on YouTube etc., and tax links on websites. What will be the point of fast internet then?

      Finally,

    • Avatar davidj

      “…as a Brexiter I know you’re not big on details.”

      I guess 51.9% were not big on details then, shame you are in the other minority camp no matter how much you scream insults.

  8. Avatar Billy

    We should just brick up the channel tunnel and have done with it.
    I know a couple of Polish brickies who’d be up for the job.

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