Davos — The CFO of Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered believes a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU could be the only way to end a paralysing parliamentary deadlock on future ties with the bloc. Speaking to Reuters at the Global Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, Andy Halford said there was a “reasonably compelling argument” for handing back decision-making power to the people, in view of Prime Minister Theresa May’s failure to unite warring politicians behind her controversial EU divorce deal. Senior bank executives have until now avoided comment on the possible merits of a second referendum, after several large institutions drew criticism for their strong financial backing of the failed campaign to stay in the EU in 2016. “The Houses of Parliament are there democratically to represent the people and therefore ostensibly the decision should lie with them,” Halford said.

“However, in a situation where there is a gridlock in that body ... going directly to t...

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