Tuesday 29 November 2016 12:01 am

Chancellor backs management consultants, as a quarter of industry gets ball rolling on Brexit plans

Chancellor Philip Hammond has given his blessing to the country's management consultants, after a recent survey showed over a quarter were kicking off contingency plans for Brexit.

In a letter from the chancellor to the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) and seen exclusively by City A.M., Hammond calls the industry a "vital part of the economy, helping people in the UK and abroad to improve their businesses and providing thousands of jobs across the UK".

Hammond continued: 

As the Prime Minister has said, we want British companies to have the maximum freedom to trade with and operate in the Single Market – to let European businesses do the same here.

On access to skilled labour, while the government will look at the various options to implement the control that the British people want over migration, I have been clear that the UK will continue to welcome the best and brightest talent from around the world.

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A recent report by the MCA, which the chancellor was writing in response to, found that 28 per cent of the consultants it surveyed were already putting plans in place for their post-Brexit future, including looking into opening offices in the EU and setting up Brexit taskforces.

The study also found that, while the majority of those asked had seen little change to their business following June's vote to Leave, one in ten (11 per cent) said the referendum had had a negative effect on their revenues while six per cent were already having issues recruiting skilled staff. 

On average, those surveyed said their firms were staffed by 14 per cent non-UK EU nationals and 22 per cent non-EU nationals.

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Alan Leaman, chief executive of the MCA, said:

Consultancies are in daily contact with their clients in all sectors as they adjust to post-referendum realities. They are working hard to help clients navigate the challenges and also identify opportunities.

We expect the pace of change to quicken in the next few weeks and months.