Britain’s largest business group the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have warned in a new report tat neither the UK nor the EU are prepared for a no-deal Brexit.
The CBI consulted at least 50 trade associations and thousands of companies from all areas of the UK’s economy and made 200 recommendations.
A spokesman for the government noted that “crucially” the CBI observed “that the UK is ahead of the EU in planning for no-deal.”
The CBI report titled What Comes Next? The Business Analysis Of No Deal Preparations added, “Larger companies, particularly those in regulated areas such as financial services, have well-thought-through contingency plans in place, though smaller firms are less well prepared.”
Josh Hardie, Deputy-Director General of the CBI said, “Businesses are desperate to move beyond Brexit. They have huge belief in the UK and getting a deal will open many doors that have been closed by uncertainty.
“There is a fresh opportunity to show a new spirit of pragmatism and flexibility. Both sides are underprepared, so it’s in all our interests. It cannot be beyond the wit of the continent’s greatest negotiators to find a way through and agree a deal.
“But until this becomes a reality, all must prepare to leave without one. It’s time to review outdated technical notices; launch an ambitious communications campaign for every firm in the country and rigorously test all Government plans and IT systems.
“The EU must come to the table and commit – at the very least – to matching the UK’s sensible mitigations. Failure to do so will hurt all our economies. While the UK’s preparations to date are welcome, the unprecedented nature of Brexit means some aspects cannot be mitigated. We can reduce but not remove the damage of no deal.
“It’s not just about queues at ports; the invisible impact of severing services trade overnight would harm firms across the country.
“Preparing for no deal is devilishly difficult. But it is right to prepare. The CBI will continue to support its members to get ready for no deal, as it has for been doing for over a year, but it will need all parties to raise their game.”