Almost half UK manufacturers have taken action to prepare for EU exit

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26th February 2019 15:39 - Industrial

Almost half UK manufacturers have  taken action to prepare for EU exit:  As Brexit draws closer, a survey by the manufacturers' organisation, MAKE UK (formerly the Engineering Employers Federation, EEF) has found almost half (44%) of the manufacturing firms polled have made plans for the EU departure on 29 March 2019.

The poll of 429 senior decision makers, found that among larger companies the figure is even higher with seven in 10 firms (70%) saying they have taken some form of action. 

When asked about the measures they have already taken to prepare for Brexit, 23% said they have been stockpiling - rising to 46% of larger firms. Just under 2 in 5 (17%) said they had set aside a contingency fund, while 16% had engaged in currency hedging. Other measures included adjusting supply chains (16%), raising prices (14%) and cutting jobs (8%).

Of those who are in the process of stockpiling, over half (56%) said they have faced difficulties with finding the capital to do so.

The future of UK manufacturing

Respondents were also asked about what they thought could encourage future manufacturing in the UK. Over half said lower taxes would attract more manufacturing (53%), while half (52%) also felt energy costs below the EU average might be a winning factor. Other answers given were the availability of qualified employees (42%) a more straightforward tax system (41%) and improvements to the transport infrastructure (39%).

The poll also asked respondents to divulge what they believe is ‘great’ about UK manufacturing. Responses included the branding and reputation of UK goods (61%), skilled workforce (54%) and the relative ease of transporting goods out of the UK (39%)

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