With the final round of Brexit negotiations starting this week, more than three-quarters of businesses say they want a deal to be agreed.
Only 4% say they prefer a no deal scenario.
The impact of the pandemic has lessened businesses’ ability to prepare for Brexit, with nearly half (47%) saying that the impact of dealing with COVID-19 has negatively affected preparations.
The findings come as the CBI’s latest Growth Indicator reports that private sector activity fell in the quarter to September, but at a slower pace than last month (-23% from -39%), marking the third consecutive month in which the rate of decline has eased.
“Now must be the time for political leadership and the spirit of compromise to shine through on both sides. A deal can and must be made,” said Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General.
“Businesses face a hat-trick of unprecedented challenges: rebuilding from the first wave of COVID-19, dealing with the resurgence of the virus and preparing for significant changes to the UK’s trading relationship with the EU.
“More than three-quarters of businesses want to see a deal that will support people’s jobs and livelihoods. This matters for firms and communities across Europe.
“For the whole continent, the pandemic has diminished firms’ ability to prepare for an abrupt interruption of restrictions on trade and movement between the UK and the EU.
“A good deal will provide the strongest possible foundation as countries build back from the pandemic. It would keep UK firms competitive by minimising red tape and extra costs, freeing much needed time and resource to overcome the difficult times ahead.
“Governments across Europe have shown a level of ambition to fight the pandemic many wouldn’t have believed – time to show that same creativity and flexibility on securing a Brexit deal.”