Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 23rd June 2017
A considerable number of businesses throughout the UK are in denial about the potential consequences of Brexit.
That’s according to a senior figure from the business consultancy giant KPMG, who is convinced that there are a “band of firms” who are yet to take the necessary steps to protect their businesses from the fallout of the UK’s imminent departure of the European Union.
Negotiations between representatives of the UK and the EU officially got underway on June 19th but a lack of clarity around likely outcomes and consequences has left businesses facing a high degree of operational uncertainty.
However, this uncertainty could well become the “new normal” for British companies and directors need to take action now to protect their interests in the coming months and years, Karen Briggs, KPMG’s head of Brexit, has said.
“There is little reason to believe that the current levels of uncertainty and volatility around Brexit are going to change,” says Ms Briggs.
“If this is the new normal, businesses need to take a more proactive approach to shaping their own destiny. There is definitely a band of firms that are either in denial or yet to fully engage at board level.”
Ms Briggs has suggested that companies which fail to take action in response to Brexit-related issues could be putting their prospects in significant jeopardy.
She insists that businesses now need to get on with planning for the potential consequences of the Brexit process and to do so as a matter of urgency.
In recent days, chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond spoke to make clear his view that the UK government should be working to secure a Brexit deal that protects jobs and prioritises the economy.
However, the Bank of England’s governor Mark Carney also said recently that the view of his institution is that Brexit will, in all likelihood, make Britain worse off economically than it would otherwise have been.
“Depending on whether and when any transition arrangement can be agreed, firms on either side of the channel may soon need to activate contingency plans,” Mr Carney said during a speech in London.
“Before long, we will all begin to find out the extent to which Brexit is a gentle stroll along a smooth path to a land of cake and consumption,” he added.