Britain’s largest manufacturers say they are prepared for life outside the European Union when the ttransition period ends on 31 December, a Lloyds Bank survey claims.
Its Business in Britain poll of 200 large manufacturers found that 81% of businesses say they have made the necessary preparations for operating outside the bloc.
Of the one in five who say they remain unprepared, 83% blamed the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, nearly half of respondents (44%) still report that leaving the EU without a trade deal would negatively impact business, while a third (31%) said leaving without a deal would be positive, thanks either to increased domestic demand or greater competitiveness.
Encouragingly, 88% of respondents expect their revenues to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2022 and 37% expect to create jobs next year.
Lloyds Bank head of manufacturing and industrials Huw Howells said: “Britain’s manufacturers remain world-leading. In the face of huge challenges this year, what’s clear is that larger manufacturers have more broadly prepared themselves for whatever the UK’s future relationship with the EU becomes.
“In spite of their preparations, larger manufacturers remain uncertain and concerned with regard to the impact of Brexit which, coupled with ongoing Covid-19 impacts, means that their resilience will continue to be tested in the short term.”
NEWS: Manufacturers are calling for business rates to be waived or reduced in tandem with a boost to investment allowances to help fire up an industrial recovery.
Commenting after its latest Manufacturing Monitor tracker Make UK said the need for measures to aid investment now is especially important in the light of the decision to cancel the Comprehensive Spending Review and the absence of any revamped Industrial or Economic Strategy to boost growth.
The survey shows a fifth of companies (20.4%) say that the top priority for Government should be to waive or reduce Business Rates while 18.4% want a boost in the form of enhanced capital allowances.
More than a third (36.9%) believe it will take longer than twelve months for normal trading to return.
Chief executive of Make UK Stephen Phipson said: “This data shows that manufacturing will be hit hard over the coming months unless there are further and sensible steps taken to smooth the path ahead.”
The survey of 181 companies was carried out between 12 and 19 October.