Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Blankfein Tweets Many CEOs Want to See Second Brexit Referendum

(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein said in a post on Twitter that many corporate executives want to see a second vote on the U.K.’s decision to exit the European Union.

“Many wish for a confirming vote on a decision so monumental and irreversible,” Blankfein wrote, referring to fellow CEOs. “So much at stake, why not make sure consensus still there?”

Blankfein is far from alone in his call. The Liberal Democrats -- who were in a government with the ruling Conservatives from 2010 to 2015 -- want there to be a second vote once the shape of Britain’s final Brexit deal is known. And former Prime Ministers John Major -- a Tory -- and Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, of Labour, have all mooted the possibility.

Read more: Three ways Britain could take back Brexit

The tweet is Blankfein’s third in the past month to explicitly reference Brexit and is indicative of the growing unease of business at the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s departure. A survey last week for the Confederation of British Industry found that some 10 percent of companies were implementing for a no-deal scenario. By March, that will rise to 60 percent.

Banks including UBS AG, Standard Chartered Plc and Nomura Holdings Inc. are preparing to move workers to mainland Europe from London’s City financial district, to ensure they have access to European markets after Brexit. In the absence of early clarity on post-Brexit arrangements, many are already taking up new offices and moving staff.

Blankfein’s recent tweets illustrate the preparations that Goldman Sachs is making.

On Oct. 19. he tweeted praise for Frankfurt, saying "Good, because I’ll be spending a lot more time there.” That tweet was completed with the #Brexit hashtag, which he deployed again on Oct. 30 in a tweet about the bank’s new office building in London. “Expecting/hoping to fill it up, but so much outside our control,” he wrote. 

Two days ago, he tweeted praise for Paris, in what could be interpreted as a swipe at London -- though he didn’t use the Brexit hashtag.

“Strong govt and biz leaders are committed to economic reform and are well thru the first steps. And the food’s good too!” he wrote.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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