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Lack of EU trade deal an enormous concern for UK businesses

05/08/2020

The lack of clarity around how trade with the EU will look post-Brexit is having a profound effect on the UK’s businesses, according to a recent survey conducted by Hilton-Baird Financial Solutions.

Despite a recent escalation in talks between the UK and EU ahead of the deadline on 31 December 2020, both parties have admitted they are still some way off an agreement being reached – increasing the prospect of a ‘no deal’.

Of the businesses we polled in July, 62% are concerned that no deal has yet been reached.

But the impact this is having is demonstrated by more than one in three (34%) revealing they have delayed making business-critical decisions as a direct result of the uncertainty regarding how trade with the EU will look post-Brexit.

This figure rises to 43% amongst respondents with at least some of their suppliers or customers based in the EU.

This will surely come as a concern to the government, who are dependent on businesses to continue investing and making bold decisions in order to offset the damage the coronavirus pandemic has caused to the economy and companies of all sizes.

It’s telling, therefore, that 46% of respondents expect the impact of the UK leaving the EU without a trade deal to be equal or worse than that of the pandemic over the next 12 months. Of those with suppliers or customers based in the EU, it’s 55%.

Clearly, the effect of a no deal would be enormous. Over half (54%) of all respondents say no deal would negatively impact their business’s overall performance, with costs (64%), profits (58%) and sales (53%) also expected to be adversely affected.

With just five months until the deadline, 13% feel they are unprepared for the UK formally leaving the EU.

How would a ‘no deal’ impact your business? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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