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UK firms step up preparations for a 'no-deal' Brexit

AP  |  London 

UK companies have ratcheted up their preparations for a disorderly "no-deal" as best they can over the past couple of months, the of England said Thursday.

With the prospect of a chaotic potentially eight days away, a survey by the central bank's agents showed that around 80 per cent of companies "judged themselves ready" for such a scenario, in which the country crashes out of the with no deal and no transition to new trading arrangements with the bloc. That's up from around 50 per cent in an equivalent survey in January.

For decades, trading with the rest of the EU has been seamless. A disorderly could see the return of tariffs and other restrictions on trade with the EU, Britain's main export destination.

To prepare, some firms have moved jobs and operations to the EU to continue to benefit from its seamless trade. Many have had to learn how to file customs declarations and adjust labels on goods. Exporters of animals are learning about health checks they will need to comply with.

According to the bank's survey, however, many of those companies preparing for a "no-deal" Brexit said "there were limits to the degree of readiness that was feasible in the face of the range of possible outcomes in that scenario." There's only so much companies can do, for example, to prepare for new tariffs and exchange rate movements.

Britain appears headed for a "no-deal" Brexit on March 29 if fails to win parliamentary support for her withdrawal agreement with the EU.

She is meeting EU leaders in on Thursday in an attempt to get support for a delay to the country's departure date to June 30. EU leaders have said a short extension would have to be conditional on her Brexit plan getting parliamentary backing and have indicated they would only be willing to back a delay to May 22, the day before elections to the

After two heavy rejections in parliament, there are doubts as to whether she will be able to get parliamentary approval. What would happen next is uncertain.

The of England warned in November that the British economy could shrink by a massive 8 percent within months, though has indicated the recession will be less savage, partly because of heightened preparedness.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 22 2019. 00:45 IST
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