Responding to the delay of a vote on the Withdrawal Agreement, Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:
“Business leaders may understand the political reasons for the delay, but today’s announcement will be viewed by most as another extension of the frustration and uncertainty. While we wish the Government well in their attempts to seek further assurances about the backstop, the clock is ticking and one of the only things we know for certain is that our exit date has been written into UK law for next March. The concern among businesses is clear, with two-thirds of our members saying a no-deal Brexit would be negative for their organisation.
“Avoiding no deal continues to be the main priority for our members but, with Parliament seemingly gridlocked, the Government must also be much clearer about its own contingency plans, even if only regarding the areas they can control, such as imports. Many companies are still in the dark about what HMRC and border agencies would require the day after Brexit if there is no transition period. Partly because of a lack of information, only 14% of IoD members say they are fully prepared to manage no-deal, highlighting the scale of the challenge if a withdrawal agreement isn’t ratified.”