EU referendum: Most UK businesses are not prepared for a Brexit, despite many worrying about what changes a vote to leave on 23 June would bring

 
Hayley Kirton
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"As things stand, if the referendum results in Brexit then British businesses will be ill-prepared for the consequences" (Source: Getty)

A worrying number of businesses could be thrown into panic post-23 June, as many have no plan of action ready for if Britain votes to leave the EU.

A study published today by professional services firm Grant Thornton discovered that two-thirds (65 per cent) of businesses have done no preparation at all for a potential Brexit, while just two per cent said they had prepped extensively.

"As things stand, if the referendum results in Brexit then British businesses will be ill-prepared for the consequences," cautioned Robert Hannah, operating chief at Grant Thornton UK. "In our role as a critical friend to business, we are advising all companies based in the UK to ensure that they take appropriate steps to examine in detail the possible impact of Brexit.

"Whichever way individual company directors may vote, in their corporate capacity they should ensure that the company they run is adequately prepared for all eventualities."

Read more: The most eurosceptic parts of Britain revealed

Despite the lack of planning, many companies are worried about what changes an exit from the EU would bring. Nearly half (48 per cent) said they believed leaving would have a negative impact on growth and jobs for them, while 47 per cent were worried that it would make it more difficult to export goods and services to or operate in the EU and a third (32 per cent) fretted that it would stop them accessing the skills they needed.

Hannah added: "With the package of reforms now agreed, the date of the referendum firmly set and both sides of the debate campaigning in earnest, organisations need to start considering the scenarios that could play out once the dust settles and the votes are tallied."

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