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UK firms near point of no return for Brexit contingency plans, CBI warns

By William Schomberg

LONDON (Reuters) – Most British companies will implement their plans for coping with a disruptive Brexit by December if there is no clarity by then on how Britain will leave the European Union, a survey by a major employers group showed.

The Confederation of British Industry said its findings showed how the lack of a breakthrough in negotiations between London and Brussels was endangering British jobs, investment and economic growth.

“Businesses have displayed remarkable resilience since the referendum, but patience is now threadbare,” CBI Director General Carolyn Fairbairn said.

“Negotiators must secure the withdrawal agreement before December to unlock a transition period. The message to politicians on all sides is: ‘your actions will echo through generations’,” she said in a statement.

The CBI has urged Britain to keep as close a relationship as possible with the EU after Brexit in March next year but British Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out its favored option of permanently staying in a customs union with the bloc.

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