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- 60% of firms will trigger contingency Brexit plans if the government fails to secure a transition deal by March 2018, according to a new survey That could involve moving staff or slowing recruitment. “Currently, we see one major challenge – not Brexit itself … But the approach to Brexit,” CBI president Paul Drechsler will warn on Monday.
LONDON – Up to 60% of firms will trigger Brexit contingency plans within months if the government fails to secure a transition deal, according to a new CBI survey.
The survey found that 60% of firms will have triggered contingency plans by March 2018 if there are no transitional arrangements in place, which would involve moving staff abroad or slowing recruitment.
Prime Minister Theresa May favours a transitional arrangement after Article 50 during which Britain’s trade and regulatory relationship with the EU would largely continue, but stalled negotiations and political chaos in her own cabinet have so far prevented the speedy progress that is needed to facilitate a deal.
“A prime-time soap opera”
In a speech to 1,000 business leaders in London, CBI president Paul Drechsler will warn the government’s approach to Brexit is harming business and dampening confidence.
“Currently, we see one major challenge – not Brexit itself: we’re 100% committed to making a success of it. But the approach to Brexit,” he will say.
“We need a single, clear strategy. A plan for what we want, and what kind of relationship we seek with the EU.”
“At the moment, I’m reminded of a prime-time soap opera, with a different episode each week. First Lancaster House, then article 50, the European Council, two dinners with Juncker – and no doubt many exciting instalments to follow.
“But time is of the essence. We must leave behind the episodic approach and take this opportunity to move forward as one – business and politicians, here and abroad.”
“Brexit is only 508 days away … The clock is ticking,” he will say.
The question of whether Britain will need a period of transition following Brexit day was a hot topic of debate within the Conservative Party leading up to the prime minister’s keynote Florence speech.
Chancellor Philip Hammond made the case for transition. However, some of the party’s ardent Brexiteers were suspicious that transition was simply a euphemism for staying in the EU after March 2019.