Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 19th August 2019
Companies across the UK economy are “seriously underprepared” for a No Deal Brexit scenario, according to the interim director general of the Institute of Directors (IoD).
Edwin Morgan has told the Financial Times that small businesses in particular are struggling to make any meaningful preparations for what might happen if the UK were to exit the EU at the end of October without a deal on the terms of departure.
Mr Morgan has suggested that most businesses are waiting to see what happens with regard to Brexit negotiations before they make concrete plans to mitigate any impact they might feel in a No Deal situation.
“Until recently the level of planning has been fairly low. Our surveys show that businesses had been waiting to see what happened,” he is quoted as saying.
“The message from the government is getting clearer but is still not clear enough. No Deal wasn’t the official policy and still technically isn’t.”
Mr Morgan from the IoD also said that there has so far been “no financial support” and “little accessible information” made available by the government to help businesses plan for a possible No Deal Brexit.
Meanwhile, Mike Cherry from the Federation of Small Businesses has said that the “ongoing political uncertainty” around Brexit is making it impossible for small scale companies across the UK to invest, expand and take on new employees because they “don’t know what the future holds”.
A spokesperson for the Confederation of British Industry said that companies can “reduce but not remove the damage of No Deal”, with the organisation eager to see the UK leaving the EU with rather than without a deal.
Discussions around the potential ramifications of No Deal Brexit on different parts of life and the economy in the UK increased in their intensity in recent days after a confidential report created for the government was leaked to the press and published in the Sunday Times.
Details in those documents appear to suggest that a No Deal situation would lead to shortages of food and fuel, a hard border on the island of Ireland and chaos at major British ports.