Nearly half of UK firms not prepared for chaotic Brexit

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Almost half of UK companies feel they are unprepared for a chaotic exit from the EU according to the Bank of England’s quarterly inflation report.

The report, which quizzed 200 businesses about their Brexit preparations and readiness, found that half had begun planning for no deal and no transition, but half said they felt unprepared for a cliff-edge scenario.

That’s despite three in four saying they did have some semblance of a Brexit plan in place.

Those we said they were ready still expected disruption over the next 12 months, including a reduction in output and employment.

Worryingly for exporters, just one in five firms said they were taking measures to ensure they had the required documentation in place to continue trading with the EU once Brexit happens.

Read more: UK firms trading with EU urged to apply for EORI number in preparation for No Deal

In what would have been denoted as ‘project fear’ by some, the reality and realisation of what leaving the EU without a deal would look like on the ground for manufacturers and consumer services companies, in particular, has started to hit home, with two-thirds stating they’d begun building up stock and taking out extra warehousing space.

Further research from IHS Markit/CIPS found that UK businesses are stockpiling goods at the fastest pace for nearly three decades, also reporting that export orders had levelled out despite three years of record export growth across UK industries.

Director at IHS Markit, Rob Dobson noted that: “The start of 2019 saw UK manufacturers continue their preparations for Brexit.

“Stocks of inputs increased at the sharpest pace in the 27-year history, as buying activity was stepped up to mitigate against potential supply-chain disruptions in coming months.

“There were also signs that inventories of finished goods were being bolstered to ensure warehouses are well stocked to meet ongoing contractual obligations.”

If your business is one of the many that still feels unprepared for Brexit, find out how Go Exporting can help support your company’s export interests with our Brexit consultancy.

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