Sixty percent of firms in Britain will have triggered their contingency plans by March 2018 if there is no transitional arrangement in place, according to a new study released today.
The study, conducted by leading business organization CBI, showed that 87 percent of businesses have discussed Brexit at board level. A third of firms have created an internal task force or steering group to monitor and report on Brexit, it also found. A further 11 percent have taken no action whatsoever.
“For 10 percent of business the alarm has already rung, and they’ve begun moving staff or slowing recruitment,” CBI chief Paul Drechsler will say at the organization’s annual conference Monday.
“Without a transitional deal, when EU leaders gather in Brussels for the March summit, a total of 60 percent of businesses will have done the same. The clock is ticking.”
Smaller businesses are less prepared, while larger firms face greater challenges, “but both are being affected by uncertainty,” according to Drechsler.
The greatest challenge for business is not Brexit itself but “the approach to Brexit,” Drechsler will say. “We need a single, clear strategy. A plan for what we want, and what kind of relationship we seek with the EU.”
CBI represents 190,000 businesses across the U.K. that collectively employ close to 7 million people, about one third of private sector-employees. Its latest study surveyed 306 CBI member companies on Brexit between October 2 and 16.