Lord Mandelson, a self-confessed “heartbroken European”, set the tone of this debate. Unpicking 40 years of EU membership was complicated, to say the least. He declared: “Brexit is the most complex policy exercise mounted in peace time. Transitioning Britain out of its current merger with 27 other economies is a massive task and it is going to take many years.”
The advice of the former Labour cabinet minister and European commissioner boiled down to this: “What you as an industry must first do is take a view on what outcome best serves your needs”.