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06 September 2018

ICAS: Brexit process needs more clarity, say finance professionals

Only around a third of finance professionals in large businesses say their organisation has started scenario planning for the impact of Brexit on key areas, such as hiring/human resources and supply chain/logistics.

Confidence that the UK Government can negotiate a free trade deal with the European Union is also waning, and key elements of the UK Government’s negotiating potion are “unclear”.

These are among the findings of ICAS' latest Brexit Tracker survey, in association with leading law firm Brodies LLP.

The Tracker is based on an online survey of CAs carried out in July 2018, shortly following the publication of the UK Government’s white paper The Future Relationship Between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Just over 600 members completed the survey.

Level of preparedness is still low

Around eight out of 10 of the respondents in smaller organisations (below 250 employees) say their organisation has taken “no action” as regards hiring/HR, supply chain/logistics and reviewing contracts.

Of those in larger organisations (250 employees or more), a minority had started scenario planning for hiring/HR (36%), supply chain/logistics (36%) and regulatory change (43%).

Even fewer had so far sought external advice on hiring/HR (21%), supply chain/logistics (16%) and regulatory change (25%).

Lack of clarity as to what the environment will look like following “Brexit Day” on 29 March next year could be a factor holding back preparations. Several of the key elements in the UK Government’s negotiating position are not well understood by business, for example:

  • A “maximum facilitation” arrangement for customs duties (only 27% rated this as “very or fairly clear”);
  • A “customs partnership” whereby the UK would collect EU duties on imported goods bound for customers in the EU (only 32% rated this as “very or fairly clear”); or
  • A “common rule book” covering trade in goods (only 26% rated this as “very or fairly clear”).

Full results


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