Businesses ‘watching in horror’ at prospect of no deal Brexit

Businesses ‘watching in horror’ at prospect of no deal Brexit
Stinging rebuke from business organisations to Westminster politicians

Businesses are “watching in horror” as the government prepares for a no deal Brexit, according to leading business organisations.

Firms are using cash that should be used to boost the economy on contingency plans for the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal, say the British Chambers of Commerce, CBI, EEF, Institute of Directors and Federation of Small Businesses.

The news comes as the Government ramps up its no deal preparations by releasing an extra £2bn to try and prepare businesses for that outcome. It was also announced yesterday that 3,500 troops are being placed on standby in case of a no deal Brexit.

In a joint statement, the organisations said: “Businesses have been watching in horror as politicians have focused on factional disputes rather than practical steps that business needs to move forward.

“The lack of progress in Westminster means that the risk of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit is rising. Businesses of all sizes are reaching the point of no return, with many now putting in place contingency plans that are a significant drain of time and money.

“Firms are pausing or diverting investment that should be boosting productivity, innovation, jobs and pay, into stockpiling goods or materials, diverting cross border trade and moving offices, factories and therefore jobs and tax revenues out of the UK.

“While many companies are actively preparing for a ‘no deal’ scenario, there are also hundreds of thousands who have yet to start – and cannot be expected to be ready in such a short space of time.”

The statement goes on to say that the responsibility to find a way forward lies with Parliament, adding: “Nobody wants to prolong the uncertainty, but everyone must remember that businesses and communities need time to adapt to future changes.”