Business body demands answers over no-deal Brexit
The British Chambers of Commerce said there were “huge concerns” that Britain was not prepared for all eventualities.
Tuesday 12 February 2019 22:44, UK
A leading business group has claimed firms are being “hung out to dry” as it published a list of 20 key questions that remain unanswered regarding a no-deal Brexit.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) highlighted issues including trade agreements, the movement of skilled staff and regulations which it said remained unclear.
It said many of the questions reflected “fundamental aspects of how companies operate” and that the absence of clarity had already stifled investment and added to costs for firms.
There had also been a loss of business as customers looked elsewhere, the BCC said.
Brexit: The jargon explained
White paper, common rulebook, facilitated customs arrangement… what do all the terms likely to be used in Brexit proposals actually mean?
The body, which represents 75,000 firms employing nearly six million people, said companies were “hugely concerned that the UK is not prepared for all eventualities”.
“While government agencies urge business communities to prepare for all scenarios, BCC says they are failing to give firms the tools and information needed to do so,” the body said.
BCC director general Adam Marshall said: “In less than 50 days, UK firms could face the biggest change to their terms of trade in over a generation, without the information and clarity they need to navigate their forward course.
“There is a very real risk that a lack of clear, actionable information from government will leave firms, their people and their communities hung out to dry.
Force leaders to debate on TV
Sign our petition to make party leaders take part in televised election debates
“Even those companies trying their hardest to get ready are still in the dark on important matters from contracts through to customs.
“Many others, who took the decision to wait for the political process to conclude before acting, would face sudden and costly adjustments if a deal is not reached.”
It comes hours after Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned that a no-deal Brexit would represent an economic shock.
Last week Mr Carney said uncertainty over Brexit was already taking its toll on business decisions which was “cascading down through the economy”.