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Press Releases Brexit - News Policy publications - Brexit News

Businesses facing ‘impossible situation’ amid Brexit impasse

16 Sep 2019

flagsThe Institute of Directors has called on the UK and EU to compromise to chart a way forward on Brexit while urging both to improve no deal planning efforts, as newly published survey figures display the ‘impossible situation’  facing business leaders.

A clear majority of IoD members have repeatedly expressed concern that a disorderly Brexit would hurt their organisation. Faced with choosing between this and a further Article 50 extension in a summer poll of 950 business leaders however, respondents were slightly more considered. A slim overall majority (51%) said that no deal would be more negative for their organisation, though this was significantly above the 32% who believed further delay could have a worse impact.

With no deal still a possibility in a few weeks’ time, the IoD has renewed its call for targeted financial assistance to help small firms’ Brexit preparations, with new analysis underlining that directors of smaller organisations were notably less likely to feel fully prepared than their larger company counterparts.

Nearly a third of IoD members surveyed were engaging with relocation as part of their Brexit contingency planning, with 14% indicating they had already moved operations or were in the process of doing so. By comparison, 9% of directors overall said their organisation was exploring onshoring operations to the UK in connection with Brexit.

Commenting on the figures, Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:

“Firms are facing an impossible situation as they try to prepare in advance for the possibility of simultaneous sweeping changes on an unprecedented level. The idea of leaving the EU without a deal in place is certainly the bigger concern, but the prospect of repeated delays with no clear path forward is far from an appetizing prospect for enterprise.

“If Government wants the country to be ready, businesses urgently need more targeted help in the form of financial assistance to enable them to access the specialist advice they need. While efforts to inform and prepare have stepped up, there is a huge job to do and generic guidance naturally struggles to address firms’ differing unique challenges. Both the UK and its European counterparts must also step up clear communication about the full raft of changes that no deal would bring for business, as many key areas are still light on detail. After all, it’s companies who will have to make the new systems work, not just public sector infrastructure.

“Crucially, both UK and EU politicians need to strain every sinew to find a deal, extension or not. Compromise is not a dirty word, and neither side wants to be managing the fall-out of no deal for the foreseeable future. This is as much about the jobs and livelihoods of those who would be most affected as it is about politics and procedure.”

Further briefing note available here.

Full survey results:

952 respondents, survey conducted between 1-17 July 2019.

Which of the following do you consider would have a more negative impact on your (primary) organisation?

A no-deal Brexit on 31 October 2019

51%

A further extension beyond 31 October 2019

32%

N/A - I do not believe either would have a negative impact on my organisation

12%

Don’t know

5%


Has your (primary) organisation prepared for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit?

Small

(0-49)

Medium

(50-249)

Large

(250+)

We believe we are fully prepared

13%

12%

26%

We have done as much preparation as we can, but cannot be fully prepared

52%

58%

57%

We still have more preparation to do

15%

13%

13%

We do not expect Brexit to impact our organisation

17%

17%

3%

Don’t know

3%

1%

1%

Has Brexit led or will it lead to your (primary) organisation moving/setting up operations outside of the UK? 

We have no intention to move or set up operations outside the UK in connection with Brexit

63%

We are doing so, but this has nothing to do with Brexit

4%

We are actively considering doing so

11%

We plan on doing so

4%

We have already done so/are already in the process of doing so

14%

Don't know

4%


Has Brexit led or will it lead to your (primary) organisation setting up operations in/moving (back) to the UK - in addition to any UK operations you may currently have? (i.e. on-shoring/re-shoring?)

We have no intention to move or set up operations in the UK in connection with Brexit

77%

We are doing so, but this has nothing to do with Brexit

3%

We are actively considering doing so

1%

We plan on doing so

1%

We have already done so/are already in the process of doing so

7%


IOD_Brexit

Contact Press Office

Euan Holmes, Press Officer

020 7451 3280


Press office