Deal or no deal: UK Businesses are not ready for Brexit

Almost two in three UK businesses (63%) say they will not be ready for Brexit by 31 October – and 26% say they need a further 6-12 months to get their company Brexit-ready –  according to new research by ThoughtWorks, the global software consultancy.

The national survey asked 1,026 business leaders how long it would take their business to adapt to the key regulatory, economic and data issues that will come as a result of Brexit. There was little variation between a hard or soft Brexit on business readiness (37% for both scenarios). Only 14% of business said they were already fully prepared for Brexit –  and whilst this rises to 37% being ready by 31 October – the majority are calling for more time, with 9% of respondents saying they will never be ready.

The ThoughtWorks study also explored business sentiment across UK cities. Whilst London is seen to be at the centre of Brexit debate, it was firms in Leeds and Birmingham that were most likely to be fully prepared for the key impacts of Brexit (for both a deal and no deal scenario). In Manchester, business leaders were most likely to say they needed an additional 6-12 months to be ready for the impact of Brexit on their company (39%).  Some were calling for even more time – around a quarter of businesses in the Newcastle said they needed until 2021 to be ready (23%) – and some businesses in Liverpool needed five years (13%). Looking at the regional picture, businesses in Scotland and the north were least likely to be prepared for Brexit on 31 October.

How long businesses need to adapt to the key regulatory, economic and data issues that will come as a result of Brexit

Already prepared 14%
By 31 October 23%
3 months 16%
6 months 13%
12 months 13%
2 years 6%
5 years 4%
10 years 1%
Never be ready 9%

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