South East businesses not ready for No Deal Brexit, study concludes.

As the final deadline fast approaches for Brexit, a new report from the nation’s biggest business group concludes that neither the EU or UK are ready for a no deal departure.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI)- a UK business organisation representing 190,000 firms- created the report based on thousands of conversations with firms of all sizes and sectors. 

Overall, it illustrates that even with mitigation, no fewer than 24 of 27 areas of the UK economy would experience disruption and an estimated annual loss of output worth £28 billion would occur by 2034. 

As a result of the findings, CBI has backed up government efforts to help prepare for a no deal exit by publishing 200 recommendations that the UK, EU and businesses can take to reduce the fallout. 

Deputy-Director General for CBI, Josh Hardie said: “Businesses are desperate to move beyond Brexit. They have huge belief in the UK and getting a deal will open many doors that have been closed by uncertainty. 

“There is a fresh opportunity to show a new spirit of pragmatism and flexibility. Both sides are underprepared, so it’s in all our interests. 

“The EU must come to the table and commit – at the very least – to matching the UK’s sensible mitigations. Failure to do so will hurt all our economies.”

The business group is also using the report to urge the UK and EU to capitalise on the new political dynamic presented by the appointment of a new Prime Minister.

 They intend to work toward agreement on a deal that will catalyse future growth and prosperity, as well as improving no deal preparations.

And while the UK’s preparations to date are welcome, the unprecedented nature of Brexit means some aspects cannot be mitigated. 

The report also highlights how – contrary to many claims – the EU lags behind the UK in seeking to prevent the worst effects of a no deal scenario.

South East and Thames Valley Regional Director for CBI, Malcolm Hyde said: “Neither the South East, the UK nor the EU are prepared for a no deal Brexit. In the UK, outdated technical notices need urgent review. 

“An ambitious communications campaign to reach every firm in the region must be launched. Government plans and IT systems must be tested.

“The invisible effect of severing services trade overnight would have a damaging impact on businesses all across the South East.”

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