According to a Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Survey of 357 businesses (both members and non-members of the organisation), over 40% of those companies state that Brexit has already affected their investment decisions. Of these firms, 98% say that the impact to date has been negative. Companies reporting that Brexit had negatively influenced their investment decisions cited general uncertainty over the UK’s future relationship with the EU. In contrast, the weakness of Sterling against the US Dollar was viewed as the only positive impact.
Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI’s chief economist, said: “Across the UK, there are numerous examples of businesses and sectors thriving and providing jobs and growth in local communities. It’s reassuring that the majority of businesses who responded to our survey don’t feel that Brexit has changed these vital spending plans.”
However, Newton-Smith continued: “We must have our eyes wide open. An overwhelming number of those that did report an impact said it was negative. Government must do all it can to reverse this situation. Let’s remember that today’s investments are tomorrow’s jobs.”
As far as the CBI’s concerned, the Government’s “increasingly clear commitment” to a single transition stage is welcome. Firms are making investment decisions right now that will last for years to come, but Newton-Smith believes those businesses need “more sense of clarity and continuity” in order to support jobs and prosperity.