Three-quarters of businesses are worried there will be another shock to the economy if the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal.
That’s according to new research by the CBI, which said its study suggested that three out of four firms were concerned about the effect a non-negotiated exit from the UK’s biggest trading partner would have.
The business group’s survey of 752 firms showed that most of them didn’t have the time or resources to prepare for a non-negotiated exit.
The survey also revealed that business preparations for the end of the transition period on December 31 this year had stalled or gone into reverse since January.
Around 15 per cent of businesses said they had improved their state of being prepared for the UK’s exit from the Single Market and Customs Union, while 58 per cent reported no change and 20 per cent feared preparations had gone backwards.
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, said: ‘Recent progress shows what’s possible in these vital negotiations, despite the challenge of the pandemic.
‘An ambitious deal with the EU is essential to shield firms from a further trade shock at a time when they are least equipped to cope.
‘What’s clear from this wide-ranging survey is that the majority of firms have neither the time nor resources to prepare for a non-negotiated EU exit.
‘While many larger firms have long had plans in place for a no-deal outcome, smaller firms will struggle to cope with a double dose of disruption. The same is true across the Channel, with EU companies’ preparations also hit hard by the pandemic.
‘Businesses on both sides are desperate for a deal that protects their economies at this most precarious of times.
‘A deal that supports the UK’s world-leading services firms and keeps UK exporters free from red tape, costs and new trade barriers is paramount as the UK takes its all-important steps towards recovery.’
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