£667m – estimated cost of Brexit planning to UK businesses - Set to rise to £813m once Article 50 invoked27 March 2017
by The Brexit Tracker -- last modified 27 March 2017
A new survey, sponsored by The Brexit Tracker, has calculated that Brexit planning has already cost UK businesses, £667.2m so far in executive man hours and this figure is set to rise to £813m after Article 50 is triggered.
The survey, conducted in January, polled 168 Board Directors of UK companies with a turnover of £10m - £150m to discover the impact and cost of Brexit planning. The associated costs were a conservative calculation based on current working hours spent on Brexit planning, accounting for one individual per organisation and factoring in that 68% of organisations have at least two staff involved.
Ben Martin, founder of The Brexit Tracker said, "Our research suggests that 40% of firms have already started planning for Brexit and with 70% CEOs and CFOs being tasked with that planning you can see how already it's becoming an expensive business."
However despite anticipated costs, the survey found UK businesses were predominantly positive about Brexit and leaving the EU. While many are in 'wait and see' mode almost twice as many respondents are positive about the benefits Brexit has had on their industry sector than are negative (39% v 21%).
37% of respondents felt there would be a positive impact on business following the triggering of Article 50 while 30% thought there would be a negative impact. Optimism rises to 42% v 34% when considering the impact of leaving the EU in 2019.
But the survey showed that Brexit was having a negative impact on general business planning and investment. Three quarters of organisations stated the level of uncertainty impacted their ability to invest. The biggest area facing one third of organisations is developing new markets (34%) and this is most notable in Construction (58%), Professional Services (47%) and Business Service (45%). Investment in technology and recruitment were the other main areas facing uncertainty.
Ben Martin explains the thinking behind The Brexit Tracker: "Our research highlighted that although76% of respondents understand the general implications of Brexit that falls to 67% when looking at how Brexit impacts their own business. Clearly there is a knowledge gap.
"The Brexit Tracker analyses 390 economic indicators pertinent to the sector and the firm's particular circumstance. Stakeholders can understand likely implications for their business and compare their views with those of their peers. Our tool enables expensive resource to be smartly invested in strategic planning, not squandered in trying to make sense of a myriad of factors that may or may not be relevant to the business."