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Customs Delays Could Bankrupt UK Firms, Report Warns

A new report from the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) has found that delays of just 30 minutes at the Irish border and UK ports after Brexit could see one in ten British businesses going bankrupt.

The survey questioned over 1,300 EU and UK-based supply chain managers and a tenth of those at UK firms said bankruptcy would be an issue if goods were delayed between ten and 30 minutes at the border, the Guardian reports.

Some of the biggest companies in this country have now warned that tougher border controls could result in serious problems, including brands like Next and car manufacturers Jaguar Land Rover and Honda, which both rely on thousands of parts coming in from the EU every day.

It was also found that nearly a quarter of British businesses have plans in place to stockpile goods over worries about border delays and shortages of goods.

Economist at the CIPS John Glen said: “It’s such a potential car crash. Common sense has got to prevail. We need to have a two-year transition period and to get something sorted out during that. The idea of day-one no-deal is just crazy.”

Further research from the Confederation of British Industry shows that export order books faded to their weakest in almost 12 months, with manufacturing output on the wane – although both still above the long run average.

Head of economic intelligence Anna Leach said that fears and uncertainty surrounding a no-deal Brexit have led to some companies moving publicly from contingency plans to taking action. Efforts must now be made on all parts to secure the Withdrawal Agreement and the transition period in order to provide relief for businesses of all kinds and across all sectors.

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