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Brexit deal crucial for business readiness

09 Dec 2020

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The Institute of Directors has called on the Government to pull out the stops to land a deal, as a majority of its members who are affected by Brexit said their ability to prepare depends on the talks.

In a new survey of almost a thousand company directors:

  • Close to a third (29%) weren’t sure they would be ready by the end of the year.
  • Around a quarter (26%) said they were fully prepared.
  • Among those affected by Brexit, the majority (57%) said that their ability to be ready was somewhat or entirely dependent on the negotiations, rising to nearly three quarters (72%) for those who weren't yet fully prepared.

Among all directors surveyed, avoiding tariffs was the top priority for a deal, followed by measures to support the movement of data and people between the UK and EU.

To support small businesses’ efforts to adjust, the IoD urged Government to provide financial support, potentially through vouchers for legal and specialist advice.

Jonathan Geldart, Director General of the IoD, said:

“Right now, Brexit is a moving target for directors. Trying to prepare, while dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, is a tall order.

“As the PM heads to Brussels, getting a deal is still crucial. It will put organisations on both sides on much better footing, for the short-term and the long-term. No deal would hamper the recovery business leaders want to fuel in the new year.

“As negotiations on fundamental detail continue with mere weeks left, it should come as no surprise that the majority of directors affected by Brexit aren’t ready. For many, their ability to prepare hinges on the outcome of the talks.

“The IoD has long championed the need for a pragmatic approach to Brexit, centred around giving firms time and fiscal support to prepare and adjust. The impact of coronavirus makes these all the more pressing, but we’re running out of road. Businesses don't want to start this new chapter with one hand tied behind their back."

Full survey results

960 respondents, conducted between 26 November - 7 December 2020

Which of the following statements best reflects your organisation's preparedness for the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020?   

Fully prepared

26%

More preparation to do - we will be prepared by the end of the year

22%

More preparation to do - not sure if we will be prepared by the end of the year

29%

Brexit will not affect our organisation

19%

Don't know

5%


[Of all those impacted by Brexit] Do you feel your organisation's ability to be ready for Brexit changes are impacted by the current negotiations?

Entirely dependent on the outcome of negotiations to be ready/prepared

21%

Somewhat dependent on the outcome of negotiations to be ready/prepared

36%

Our ability to be ready/prepared is not very dependent on the outcome of negotiations

21%

Our ability to be ready/prepared is not dependent on the outcome of the negotiations at all

18%

Don't know / Not sure

4%

 

[Of those who were not fully prepared for the end of transition] Do you feel your organisation's ability to be ready for Brexit changes are impacted by the current negotiations?

Entirely dependent on the outcome of negotiations to be ready/prepared

27%

Somewhat dependent on the outcome of negotiations to be ready/prepared

45%

Our ability to be ready/prepared is not very dependent on the outcome of negotiations

20%

Our ability to be ready/prepared is not dependent on the outcome of the negotiations at all

5%

Don't know / Not sure

3%

 

What do you consider to be the most important priorities for post-transition negotiations with the EU? (please select all that apply)

 

Avoiding tariffs on trade between the UK and EU

74%

Ensuring the ability to transfer data freely between the EU and UK

64%

Maintaining ease of movement of people and labour between the UK and EU

63%

Minimising non-tariff barriers for services trade with the EU (licencing, authorisations etc)

54%

Minimising non tariff barriers to goods trading with the EU (technical standards, customs disruptions, labelling etc.)

46%

Maintaining ease of access to EU research and funding streams/collaboration schemes

44%

Ensuring there is an adjustment period for businesses and end users to adapt

39%

Being able to diverge from EU rules covering services

31%

Being able to diverge UK import tariffs from the EU's to facilitate new trade deals with other countries

30%

Being able to diverge from EU rules covering goods

23%

Other

2%

Don't know

1%

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