“In addition to uncertainty about what’s going to happen, now there’s uncertainty about when it will happen.”
With each passing day, the fog of uncertainty surrounding Brexit thickens, with myriad knock-on effects for businesses on both sides of the English Channel. “Companies no longer have any idea what they should be preparing for,” Martin Wansleben, executive director of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), told the Funke Mediengruppe newspaper chain. “In addition to uncertainty about what is going to happen, now there’s uncertainty about when it will happen.”
The UK parliament’s advisory non-binding votes of the past week to seek to delay the country’s departure from the European Union and reject any form of no-deal Brexit, rather than providing much-needed clarity, have produced yet more confusion and uncertainty. And that’s the last thing businesses need.
Seventy percent of German companies with business in Britain expect further erosion of business confidence in 2019, while just one in five of those firms said its UK business was going well, says Wansleben. Eddie Rouse, a logistics manager at German machine-tool maker Heller Maschinenfabrik, said the following on Brexit planning:
“If someone would just make a decision, good or bad I don’t really care, then I know what I’m dealing with.”
It’s a sentiment that is widely shared, particularly among logistics companies that have spent the last months exhaustively preparing for a no-deal Brexit on March 29. Rem Korteweg, a senior research fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, reported on Friday that roughly half of the logistics managers who attended a Brexit event he chaired said they would prefer the certainty of No Deal to the uncertainty of a Brexit extension…