John Allan CBI

MPs must "get their act together" and agree on a Brexit deal or call a second referendum, the head of the CBI has said.

The president of the business lobby group, John Allan, told the BBC that it is "astonishing" than 27 EU leaders can agree "a lot more readily" on Brexit than the UK parliament.

Stressing that it is his personal view, and not the organisational stance of the CBI, Mr Allan's comments come after the EU agreed to extend the Brexit deadline until 31 October.

He said: "My personal view is if the politicians can't get their act together and get to an agreement the only other option is to go back to the people and have a second referendum to see whether people still feel the same way now that they did almost three years ago and resolve it that way.

"One way or the other we have just got to break out of this impasse that we've got at the moment and get agreement."

Mr Allan, who is also the chairman of Tesco and Barrett, added: "It's astonishing that 27 European countries can agree on things a lot more readily than, frankly, our politicians. They should actually take a lesson from the solidarity the Europeans have shown over the last couple of years."

In its response to the extension of the Brexit deadline, the CBI's director general Carolyn Fairbairn said it meant avoiding "an imminent economic crisis".

The CBI also called on politicians in the UK to come together to find an agreement. Ms Fairbairn said: "It needs to mark a fresh start. More of the same will just mean more chaos this autumn.

"For the good of jobs and communities across the country, all political leaders must use the time well. Sincere cross-party collaboration must happen now to end this crisis."