IoD: Brexit deal crucial for business readiness

The Institute of Directors has called on the Government to pull out the stops to land a deal, as a majority of its members who are affected by Brexit said their ability to prepare depends on the talks.

In a new survey of almost a thousand company directors:

  • Close to a third (29%) weren’t sure they would be ready by the end of the year.
  • Around a quarter (26%) said they were fully prepared.
  • Among those affected by Brexit, the majority (57%) said that their ability to be ready was somewhat or entirely dependent on the negotiations, rising to nearly three quarters (72%) for those who weren’t yet fully prepared.

Among all directors surveyed, avoiding tariffs was the top priority for a deal, followed by measures to support the movement of data and people between the UK and EU.

To support small businesses’ efforts to adjust, the IoD urged Government to provide financial support, potentially through vouchers for legal and specialist advice.

Jonathan Geldart, Director General of the IoD, said:

“Right now, Brexit is a moving target for directors. Trying to prepare, while dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, is a tall order.

“As the PM heads to Brussels, getting a deal is still crucial. It will put organisations on both sides on much better footing, for the short-term and the long-term. No deal would hamper the recovery business leaders want to fuel in the new year.

“As negotiations on fundamental detail continue with mere weeks left, it should come as no surprise that the majority of directors affected by Brexit aren’t ready. For many, their ability to prepare hinges on the outcome of the talks.

“The IoD has long championed the need for a pragmatic approach to Brexit, centred around giving firms time and fiscal support to prepare and adjust. The impact of coronavirus makes these all the more pressing, but we’re running out of road. Businesses don’t want to start this new chapter with one hand tied behind their back.”