Business groups have admitted many companies are ill-prepared for a no-deal Brexit on October 31, confirming a leaked government document that “EU Exit fatigue” has set in after two delays to the UK’s departure. The potential aftershocks of a no-deal Brexit were laid bare in confidential details of Operation Yellowhammer, the government’s no-deal contingency planning for a no deal departure. The warnings included three months of chaos at ports, shortages of fuel and food, nationwide unrest and a hard border on the island of Ireland. “In general, large businesses that work across sectors are likely to have better developed counting plans than small and medium-size businesses,” the paper said.
“Business readiness will be compounded by seasonal effects and factors such as warehouse availability. Michael Gove, the minister in charge of no-deal preparations, said on Sunday that “there will be bumps in the road” and “some element of disruption” if the UK leaves without a deal on October 31. But he insisted the document represented only the “very, very worst situation” and was out of date. He added that Boris Johnson had ramped up preparations for a no-deal Brexit and the government was better prepared for the worst-case scenario.
They blamed a lack of clarity and financial assistance from the government. Edwin Morgan, interim director-general of the Institute of Directors, said businesses across the economy were “seriously underprepared” for no deal, with smaller businesses especially facing “unknown unknowns”.
We can reduce but not remove the damage of no-deal
“Until recently the level of planning has been fairly low. Our surveys show that businesses had been waiting to see what happened. The message from the government is getting clearer, but is still not clear enough. “There’s been no financial support and little accessible information,” he said.
Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said that smaller firms mostly did not have the resources to plan for no-deal. “The ongoing political uncertainty has meant it’s impossible for them to invest, expand and hire when we don’t know what the future holds,” he said. A spokesperson for the CBI said that while businesses of all sizes were doing “what they can to prepare” for October 31, “they remain hampered by unclear advice, timelines and costs. “While the UK’s preparations to date are welcome, the unprecedented nature of Brexit means some aspects cannot be mitigated.
manufacturers in the food and drink arena the chemicals and pharmaceuticals sector, they often need chilled warehousing and that’s almost pretty much all block-booked out years in advance by supermarkets. Officials also told the Financial Times that the government intended to publish new assessments of the measures required to leave the EU on October 31. This would reduce the flow of lorries to 40 to 60 per cent of the current levels.
These lorries would stymie the flow of traffic for at least three months. “Significant amounts of police resource” may be required to deal with protests across the country in the face of this action.
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