Firms unprepared

Chambers demanding answers to 26 Brexit questions

Adam Marshall

Adam Marshall: ‘levels of preparedness are low’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Cabinet minister Michael Gove has been issued with a list of 26 key Brexit questions that remain unanswered with just 98 days until the end of the transition period. 

The British Chambers of Commerce has has written to Mr Gove seeking action for businesses and urgent discussions to help firms prepare.

Many of the unanswered questions reflect fundamental aspects of how companies operate. Among them:

  • firms do not know what rules of origin will apply after the transition period, preventing them and their customers from planning and potentially creating unprecedented new administration and costs;
  • there is no clarity on how food and drink due to be sold in the EU and Northern Ireland is to be labelled;
  • very limited guidance on the movement of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland; and
  • no information on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, key to ‘levelling up’ the regions and nations – despite years of calls for clarity.

The BCC has also published new research which suggests preparation for the coming changes is low due to the unprecedented challenges facing companies.

It found that just 38% of firms had completed a Brexit risk assessment this year, compared to 57% in 2019 and 35% in 2018. 

More than half (51%) of those surveyed had not taken any of the eight steps recommended by the government to prepare for changes in the movement of goods between the UK and the EU.

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