Over 40% of businesses say that Brexit has affected their investment decisions, according to a new survey.
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 dollar was viewed as the only positive impact.
Almost 60% of firms that responded to the survey said that Brexit had not affected their investment decisions.
Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said:“Across the UK, there are numerous examples of businesses and sectors thriving and providing jobs and growth in local communities. It is reassuring that the majority of businesses that responded to our survey do not feel that Brexit has changed these vital spending plans.
“But 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. Today’s investments are tomorrow’s jobs.
“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. They need more sense of clarity and continuity to support jobs and prosperity.
“To help British business remain optimistic and keep uncertainty at bay, the Government must work quickly to agree the terms of the transition and future trading arrangements.
“That’s why the CBI has suggested staying in the single market and a customs union until a final deal comes into force. This is the simplest way of ensuring companies don’t face a damaging cliff-edge and that trade flows can continue without disruption.
“Let’s be crystal clear though – business does not seek to delay the process of leaving the EU with this proposal, but to expedite it. It’s in no-one’s interests for Brexit to take a minute longer than practically necessary, and early agreement of these transitional arrangements would allow negotiators to focus on agreeing a deep, comprehensive new trading relationship with the EU as soon as possible.”