No-Deal Brexit: Uk firms ‘not even close to ready’
UK firms not ready Figures seen by Newsnight suggest that many UK businesses are woefully unprepared for a no-deal Brexit. In February HMRC launched a scheme aimed at easing imports if the UK left the customs union and single market suddenly. The Transitional Simplified Procedures scheme (TSP) has been designed to help UK businesses import […]
UK firms not ready
Figures seen by Newsnight suggest that many UK businesses are woefully unprepared for a no-deal Brexit.
In February HMRC launched a scheme aimed at easing imports if the UK left the customs union and single market suddenly. The Transitional Simplified Procedures scheme (TSP) has been designed to help UK businesses import goods from mainland Europe by removing the need to fill out new customs declarations at the border. It would also allow UK firms to postpone the payment of import duties for a year. However, the figures that were reported by Newsnight show that only 17,800 of the 240,00 businesses who are estimated to need the status have applied for it as of 26th of May. That’s less than 10% of the number who will need the status before October 31st when the extension to Article 50 is due to expire.
Mike Spicer from the British Chamber of Commerce has expressed his concern, calling the figures ‘terrible’ and stating that ‘most small firms are not even close to being ready for a No Deal scenario.’
On Wednesday, the Financial Times reported on a leaked cabinet document which claimed that ministers have been warned that it would take at least four to five months to improve trader readiness for border checks. The document also suggests that officials are considering ‘financial incentives to encourage exporters and importers to register for new schemes.’
All of this comes at a time when Boris Johnson, the frontrunner in the Conservative leadership race, has stated that the UK will leave the EU with or without a deal on the 31st October should he become the next prime minister.
The uncertainty continues for SMEs with no clear plan for either what a new deal would like or the real implications of leaving with no deal status. The recent figures that show the larger than expected contraction in the construction industry have been blamed on this fact. And while there was a boost to manufacturing in this year’ first quarter figures, Brexit has once again been implicated with manufacturers rushing to fulfil orders and stockpile goods before the original exit date of March 25th.
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