BREXIT: Businesses have “exit fatigue”

Businesses have ‘exit fatigue’ following the second extension to the Brexit deadline with many planning to ‘wait and see’.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 4:37 pm
Updated Friday, 25th October 2019, 3:26 pm
Maddy Desforges and Eugene Walker (far right) address councillors

Council chiefs say larger businesses are more likely to have better contingency plans than small and medium sized companies and many have continued uncertainty about Brexit.

Eugene Walker, executive director of resources, says in a report: “There is a sense that business readiness will have been impacted by EU exit fatigue due to the second extension of Article 50 to October 31.

“Many businesses will not have the resources nor capacity to prepare to the same level of assuredness as the original March deadline for leaving the EU.

Tom Sutton, far left, and Eugene Walker, far right, address councillors

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“This mirrors anecdotal evidence in Sheffield that businesses are facing continued uncertainty regarding being able to plan effectively for Brexit.

“As a consequence, it is believed that businesses are adopting a wait and see approach, with planning made all the more difficult without knowing if a deal will be secured.

“Should a deal be agreed, this will secure a two year transition period, however in the event of no deal, the UK will crash out and therefore revert to trading under World Trade Organisation terms.”

Mr Walker said the key issues businesses need to understand and prepare for were duties on imported and exported goods, VAT applied to imports, border delays and changes in customs documentation and the value of sterling.

Tom Sutton, head of corporate partnership and membership at Sheffield Chamber, told a scrutiny meeting the Chamber was working practically with businesses to assess elements of risk associated to Brexit.

“It’s hard to provide a one size fits all approach so we have been looking to work with them on a very much individual basis,” he said.

“As a Chamber we have been putting things in place ourselves to make sure we are ready to assist businesses within the city whatever the date actually is because that remains unclear.”