With the UK as concerned as ever about the financial risks of Brexit, a new survey has shown than employers are starting to make contingency plans, with some considering moving some operations to elsewhere in the EU.
The last deal Theresa May made with the EU was rejected by parliament. This has increased fears over the risks of the UK leaving the bloc in March without a deal in place. The biggest issue, in terms of striking a deal, is the Irish border.
The survey was carried out last month, and 1202 companies took part. Of these companies, a third said they had considered taking their business abroad. Larger companies were most likely to take this approach.
Of the firms surveyed, 11% said that had already moved some of their business activities away from the UK. Another 18% said they were making plans to do the same – or at least considering it. The remaining 62% said they had no current plans to move over Brexit.
Financial and insurance companies are most at risk from Brexit. Surveys show that they are the most likely to be making plans – or to have already made them – to move some of their operations elsewhere. Other at-risk industries include manufacturing, science and technology.
The UK is due to leave the EU in less than two months. With this in mind, investors are urging that the government comes to an agreement to avoid “hard Brexit”, adding that a smooth, orderly exit from the EU is crucial for the UK’s economy.
The director of the Institute of Directors – which was responsible for the survey – noted: “It brings no pleasure to reveal these worrying signs, but we can no more ignore the real consequences of delay and confusion than business leaders can ignore the hard choices that they face in protecting their companies
The IoD considers itself neutral in Britain’s EU membership. However, the agency has warned of the costs, with the director going on to explain: “The UK’s hard-won reputation as a stable, predictable environment for enterprise is being chipped away.”
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