Businesses urged to prepare for '˜no deal' Brexit scenario

Businesses have been strongly encouraged to plan for a no-deal Brexit after new survey findings published today found that nearly two-thirds of finance professionals believe such a scenario is either 'very likely' or 'quite likely'.

Icas boss Bruce Cartwright notes that further clarity is needed. Picture: contributed.
Icas boss Bruce Cartwright notes that further clarity is needed. Picture: contributed.

And only 45 per cent of respondents believe their organisation is either “very prepared” or “quite prepared” for the implications should the UK leave the EU in March without a withdrawal agreement in place, according to the latest Brexit Tracker Survey from Scottish accountancy trade body Icas, in association with law firm Brodies.

The poll was based on responses from more than 400 Icas members across the UK, and was carried out the week the draft withdrawal deal was published and agreed by the UK Cabinet.

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Icas chief executive Bruce Cartwright said the clear information businesses need to prepare for Brexit is “in short supply”, but he expressed concern over the level who believe their organisation is prepared for a no-deal Brexit.

He added: “A lack of consensus makes for challenging times, but we have to hope that the current parliamentary debate will tackle some thorny issues and start to deliver much-needed clarity. In the meantime, Icas will seek to inform and support our members, and the wider business community.”

Also commenting was Brodies chairman Christine O’Neill, who said: “Given the uncertain political environment, the prospect of a no-deal exit from the EU cannot yet be discounted.

“There is no call for Brexit-related hysteria, but I would recommend that no-deal planning moves up on everyone’s agenda.”