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Rebecca Wayman

UK exporters face 'Brexit bill' warning for delay of goods

UK firms have been issued a warning that EU companies plan to make them pay the bills if Brexit delays orders.

Research from a Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) survey has been released as Brexit appears more evidently on the horizon, and MPs will be due to vote tomorrow (March 12) on PM Theresa May’s Brussels deal.

The survey also suggested that huge uncertainty lies among UK firms, showing a great level of preparation for border complications among EU businesses compared to the UK.

Countless UK exporters could be penalised for the late completion of orders.

Among the findings was that for a delay of just 24 hours, 20 per cent of EU businesses would push their UK suppliers for a discount.

Meanwhile, 11 per cent of exporters would expect to have their contract cancelled outright.

CIPS economist, John Glen, said: “The financial cost of Brexit indecision will not be paid in Whitehall, but by Britain’s businesses.

“Britain’s supply chains are so finely balanced, that even a temporary delay at the border after March 29 will see UK businesses paid later and paid less for their goods.

“These costs, combined with a lack of investment, will likely reduce the number of exports coming out of the UK and result in a reduction of the UK’s competitiveness on the international stage.”

The research also hinted that 60 per cent of EU businesses would leave their UK suppliers if orders faces delays of several weeks.

The CIPS said a no-deal Brexit scenario risked hundreds of British exporters being turned away at the UK/EU border. This could be due to their lack of expertise, data or technology to comply with relevant EU customs rules.

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