Small firms must speed up plans for a no-deal Brexit, the Square Mile’s governing body has warned, as negotiations with the EU faltered with five months to go until Britain’s leave date.
There is no guarantee that a withdrawal agreement will be reached, the City of London Corporation (CLC) said today, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are in danger of being left behind if Britain crashes out of the European Union.
After negotiators failed to deliver a breakthrough at last week’s EU summit, the CLC told the 99 per cent of City firms that are classified as SMEs to accelerate preparations, as London mayor Sadiq Khan said there is “inadequate information” for Brexit contingency planning.
A London Resilience Forum report, commissioned by Khan, found that "there is a significant gap in information necessary to inform detailed contingency planning."
CLC policy chairman Catherine McGuinness said: “Businesses need to be prepared for all possible outcomes given the Brexit discussions are currently at a deadlock. The clock is ticking ever more quickly so the time for firms to ensure they are ready for a no deal Brexit is now.
“This is why we are calling on all firms, especially SMEs, to prepare for a possible no deal and all the implications that might have for their business models.
"Larger businesses have been planning for some time to ensure they can serve their customers even in a no deal scenario, but it is concerning that many smaller organisations may not yet have realised the full impact.
“A no deal Brexit is not in the interests of either the UK or the EU so negotiators on both sides should work to avoid this scenario.”