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British Chambers of Commerce survey shows that many UK businesses are unprepared for Brexit risks

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published the results of a survey which found that only 38 percent of companies surveyed have carried out a Brexit risk assessment in 2020, compared to 57 percent in 2019. The research also found that 51 percent of firms surveyed had not taken any of the eight steps recommended by the government to prepare for changes in the movement of goods between the UK and the EU. This includes fundamentals of operation for trading businesses such as checking on the need for customs declarations and assessing the possible impact of changes on existing customers and suppliers.

BCC says that businesses have a lack of information with which to plan and that some are suffering from ‘deadline fatigue’.

The business group has written to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove seeking action for businesses and urgent discussions to help firms prepare.

BCC Director General Adam Marshall said:

“With just 98 days to go, business communities face the triple threat of a resurgent Coronavirus, receding government support schemes, and a disorderly end to the transition period.

“Significant unanswered questions remain for businesses, and despite recent public information campaigns, base levels of preparedness are low. Many firms say they've heard talk of deadlines and cliff edges before, and others are still grappling with fundamental challenges as a result of the pandemic and have little cash or information with which to plan.

“While we recognise that some of the questions facing businesses are subject to ongoing negotiations between the government and the EU, other matters are within the UK’s own hands. The government must ramp up engagement with business urgently – to the levels seen prior to previous ‘no deal’ deadlines – to ensure that the real-world issues facing firms get tackled immediately.

“The ‘Check, Change, Go’ campaign gives the impression that Brexit-related changes are like getting an MOT – whereas the reality is that for many businesses, they’re more akin to planning a moon landing. Businesses need honest communication about the complexity of the changes they face – and stronger encouragement to act.”

www.britishchambers.org.uk



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