Britain: Brexit gloom deepens, says Deloitte survey

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Published on April 15, 2019 - Duration: 01:46s

Britain: Brexit gloom deepens, says Deloitte survey

More than four out of five chief financial officers asked in a survey by accountancy firm Deloitte expect Brexit to lead to a long-term deterioration in Britain's business environment.

David Pollard reports.

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Britain: Brexit gloom deepens, says Deloitte survey

Last week's EU decision to grant Britain a six-month extension to its Brexit date may have taken some pressure off UK politicians.

But not British businesses, according to new survey by accountancy firm Deloitte.

Over 80 per cent of chief financial officers polled, it says, expect Brexit to lead to a long-term deterioration in Britain's business environment.

And Deloitte's gauge of corporate risk appetite remains close to lows last seen following 2016's Brexit referendum.

The survey comes after official data which shows British investment fell in every quarter of 2018.

Some analysts fear the latest extension will do little to help.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS UK CHIEF ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "Ultimately all that will happen is that businesses will sit on their hands, they won't invest which means that the UK economy will probably flatline for the next six months." Last week saw IMF warnings about the dangers of Britain leaving the EU without a transition deal, even if delayed until the end of October.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR, CHRISTINE LAGARDE, SAYING: "It's obvious that it's continued uncertainty and it does not resolve other than by postponing what would have been a terrible outcome." Also speaking at the IMF World Bank meetings in Washington: Mark Carney.

For the Bank of England governor, a chaotic Brexit remained, he said, one of the top three risks to the world economy.

For the Bank itself, it could also complicate the hunt for his successor.

After twice delaying his departure from the job he started in 2013, his role becomes vacant next February.

Finance minister Philip Hammond admitted some candidates might be deterred from applying because of the political debate around Brexit.

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