Jobs will be lost if Brexit deal not reached by December, business leader warns

Director general of CBI says businesses considering implementing ‘damaging’ contingency plans

More than 700,000 protesters march on Westminster calling for a Final Say on Brexit deal

Work will be moved out of the UK and jobs will be lost, unless the government finalises a Brexit withdrawal agreement by December, the director general of the CBI has warned.

Carolyn Fairbairn said business reality would soon start to outpace Brexit negotiations, and decisions will have to be taken to counteract uncertainty.

Four out of five firms said Brexit had hit their investment plans, and they would be implementing “damaging” contingency plans in the absence of greater certainty, according to a survey of 236 businesses made for the CBI.

The figure is up from 36 per cent at the same time last year, and plans include cutting jobs and relocating production and services overseas.

Many firms are now planning for a no-deal Brexit, with “severe” implications for people’s livelihoods on both sides of the Channel, said the report.

Ms Fairbairn said: “Unless a withdrawal agreement is locked down by December, firms will press the button on their contingency plans. Jobs will be lost and supply chains moved.

“The knock-on effect for the UK economy would be significant. Living standards would be affected and less money would be available for vital public services, including schools, hospitals and housing.

“Uncertainty is draining investment from the UK, with Brexit having a negative impact on eight in 10 businesses.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

“From a multinational plastics manufacturer which has cancelled a £7m investment, to a fashion house shelving £50m plans for a new UK factory, these are grave losses to our economy.

“Many firms won’t publicise these decisions, yet their impact will show in lower GDP years down the line.

“As long as ‘no deal’ remains a possibility, the effect is corrosive for the UK economy, jobs and communities.”

A Department for Exiting the European Union spokesman said: “We are working hard to deliver a deal that works for businesses, and remain confident of a positive outcome.

“In the unlikely event we leave the EU without a deal, we have issued over 100 technical notices to help businesses make informed plans and preparations.

“We have engaged extensively with businesses and industry bodies from all sectors of the economy throughout the exit process, and will continue to do so.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in