Brexit uncertainty hits future planning at businesses

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Lack of clarity around the Brexit process is hitting preparations for business after the UK leaves the EU, with only a third of finance professionals in large businesses reporting their organisation has started scenario planning and just 20% of those in small organisations, according to a poll.

Around eight out of 10 of the respondents in smaller organisations (below 250 employees) said their organisation has taken ‘no action’ as regards hiring/HR, supply chain/logistics and reviewing contracts.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) says lack of clarity as to what the environment will look like following Brexit Day on 29 March next year could be a factor holding back preparations. Its research found several of the key elements in the UK government’s negotiating position are not well understood by business.

For example, only a quarter (27%) were ‘very or fairly clear’ about what is meant by the ‘maximum facilitation’ arrangement for customs duties, and only 32% had a similar level of understanding about a ‘customs partnership’ whereby the UK would collect EU duties on imported goods bound for customers in the EU.