U.K. businesses continue to lag behind their European peers ahead of Britain's upcoming departure from the European Union (EU), according to the CFO of the U.K.'s biggest recruitment firm.
As Britain prepares to leave the EU next year, businesses based in the U.K. were seen to be struggling to attract investment, according to Hays's Paul Venables.
The chief financial officer said that while continental Europe's investment projects had increased by 17 percent in 2017, investment in British-based businesses was found to have been broadly flat over the same period.
"Universally, Europe is as strong as I've seen it since I joined (Hays) in 2006 and I have been through all of the cycles across the last 12 years," Venables told CNBC on Thursday.
Britain and the EU will soon begin efforts to try to define their future trading relationship after officials from both sides settled the broad terms of their divorce settlement in December.
Nonetheless, an impasse regarding Britain's access to the single market for London's substantial financial services industry is threatening to be one of the key Brexit battlegrounds before the U.K. is due to leave the bloc in March 2019. The EU's single market allows the free movement of goods, people, capital and services between EU nations.