Reality of No Deal hits as CBI warns that the UK and the EU are woefully unprepared

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A new report from the CBI What comes next? The business analysis of no deal preparations based on a comprehensive study of existing plans laid out by the Government, the EU, member states and business shows that no one is anywhere near ready for a No Deal Brexit on 31 October. Anna Tobin reports

The CBI report What comes next? The business analysis of no deal preparations is based on thousands of conversations with firms of all sizes and sectors and 50 trade associations covering all areas of the UK economy. It makes grim reading.

It finds that neither the UK nor the EU is ready for No Deal. It states that businesses are hampered by unclear advice, timelines, cost and complexity and although larger companies, particularly those in regulated areas such as financial services, have well-thought through contingency plans, smaller firms are much less well prepared.

“Both sides are underprepared, so it’s in all our interests. It cannot be beyond the wit of the continent’s greatest negotiators to find a way through and agree a deal,” said Josh Hardie, the CBI’s deputy-director general. “But until this becomes a reality, all must prepare to leave without one. It’s time to review outdated technical notices; launch an ambitious communications campaign for every firm in the country and rigorously test all Government plans and IT systems…

“While the UK’s preparations to date are welcome, the unprecedented nature of Brexit means some aspects cannot be mitigated. We can reduce but not remove the damage of No Deal. It’s not just about queues at ports; the invisible impact of severing services trade overnight would harm firms across the country.”

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