Vast majority working hard to prepare for no-deal, CBI confirms

The vast majority of firms are working hard to prepare for a no-deal outcome, though they still want the government to deliver on its stated aim to strike an agreement with the EU before 31st October.

These are the findings of a CBI-led survey of 330 businesses, representing around one million employees in the UK.

Overall, businesses are more prepared now than they were in March (three times more businesses said they were “totally prepared”), although smaller firms are still struggling with contingency planning.

CBI director-general, Carolyn Fairbairn welcomed the news that 70% of the group’s members are considering contingency plans in the event of a ‘disruptive’ no-deal, though at the same time she expressed concern about the medium term investment implications should a no-deal scenario come to pass.

“This survey also lays bare the actions firms are taking to protect their business… Seven in ten firms have adjusted their supply chains outside the UK, with a further one in ten planning to do so. Headquarters are also leaving the UK. This means lost jobs and investment for communities across the country.

“Firms are also aware a no-deal Brexit does not mean the end of uncertainty,” Fairbairn added, suggesting that contingency planning should not stop on November 1st.

The CBI’s survey was carried out between 22nd August and 5th September 2019. It weighted the data by company size and sector.

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