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New research from the British Chambers of Commerce shows that ‘a concerningly high number’ of UK firms aren’t ready for a no deal Brexit. The survey of over 1,500 firms from across the UK, found that two-fifths (41 percent) of UK businesses have not done a Brexit risk assessment. Those that trade internationally (63 percent) are far more likely to have carried out a risk assessment on the impact of Brexit to their business than their counterparts that trade in the UK only (35 percent).

‘Political turbulence and ongoing uncertainty about the final outcome of the Brexit process is hampering business planning, making it impossible for firms to know what to prepare for’ says the British Chambers of Commerce.

In a no deal scenario, firms that trade with Europe will face new customs procedures at the border. However, awareness of other schemes to maintain continuity of trade remains low. The results show that even among internationally active UK businesses:

  • 63 percent are not aware of Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP)
  • 62 percent are not aware of Authorised Economic Operator status (AEO)
  • 73 percent are not aware of Customs Comprehensive Guarantees (CCG).

The British Chambers of Commerce campaigned successfully for the UK government to automatically issue EORI numbers, which are critical for trading across borders, to all VAT-registered businesses. Now, the British Chambers of Commerce is calling on the government to either automatically enrol or support businesses to access these other important customs and border facilitations.

The business group also continues to encourage all companies – not just those trading across borders – to consider the potential impact of Brexit on their operations. UK-only businesses will face impacts linked to their own suppliers and customers, or to changes elsewhere in the economy, and should take steps to assess these.

Survey details

The British Chambers of Commerce surveyed 1,580 business leaders online between 10th and 30th July 2019. Around 94 percent of participants were SMEs.

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