80% of companies in the United Kingdom say that the uncertainty surrounding the "brexit" has undermined their investment plans, according to a survey released today by the employers' Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
This 80%, of a total of 236 large companies and SMEs consulted between September 19 and October 8, contrasts with the percentage of 36% recorded in another survey conducted at the same time in 2017.
39% of companies say they will increase their contingency plans, which may include job cuts, changes of venue or storage of products, if in November there is "no more clarity" in the negotiations between the British Government and the European Union ( EU) on the exit of this country from the bloc.
Twenty-four percent said they would implement those plans if December comes without a clear plan on the future UK-EU relationship, and most admit that it includes in its preparations the possibility of negotiations ending without agreement.
In another section of the study, 30% of the companies surveyed stated that they have examined "the business expansion opportunities that may arise with the 'brexit' and have not found any."
20% have identified opportunities and 21% want to look for them but they feel that they can not do it because "we do not know what form" the British EU march will take.
Twenty-eight percent have not yet begun the task of investigating future growth opportunities, the survey said.
The general director of the IWC, Carolyn Fairbairn, declared that "the situation is urgent", because "the speed of the negotiations" between London and Brussels "is being overcome by the reality faced by companies on the ground".
"Unless an exit agreement is closed in December, companies will press the button on their contingency plans, jobs will be lost and supply chains will be modified," he warned.
Fairbairn stressed that the effect on the British economy of activating these plans "will be significant", even more so "as long as the possibility of negotiations ending without agreement remains on the table".