News ID: 238267
Published: 0325 GMT February 01, 2019

Fears grow: 1/3 of UK firms consider move abroad over Brexit

Fears grow: 1/3 of UK firms consider move abroad over Brexit

Nearly a third of UK firms may shift their operations abroad because of Britain’s pending departure from the European Union, a survey of 1,200 company directors suggested Friday, as the political stalemate over a Brexit deal heightened jitters among businesses.

The survey by the Institute of Directors, an employers’ group, found that 16 percent of businesses already had relocation plans while a further 13 percent were “actively considering” a move, AP reported.

The group said while headlines have focused on big companies, less notice has been given to smaller UK businesses and their moves to relocate.

Institute interim director Edwin Morgan said smaller firms typically have tighter resources and for them “to be thinking about such a costly course of action makes clear the precarious position they are in.”

Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, but a Brexit divorce agreement struck between British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and the bloc late last year as been rejected by Britain’s Parliament.

UK lawmakers voted this week to send May back to Brussels to seek changes to the divorce agreement. But the EU is adamant that the deal cannot be renegotiated, leaving Britain lurching toward a cliff-edge “no-deal” departure from the bloc that many businesses fear will cause economic chaos.

A survey of companies released Friday showed that manufacturing firms stockpiled goods at a record rate in January to prepare for potential Brexit disruption to trade.


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