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Brexit uncertainty 'affecting international trade'

19 Oct 2018

A survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and DHL Express UK has revealed that almost half of businesses have Brexit uncertainty in mind when deciding whether to trade internationally.

A further 48% of the 2,530 businesses polled are worried about exchange rate volatility, as this can affect the cost of raw materials, and make UK exports 'less competitive'. 61% of UK manufacturers and 64% of business-to-consumer (B2C) firms are concerned about exchange rate volatility, whilst just 36% of business-to-business (B2B) companies are worried about such matters.

Meanwhile, businesses that do trade internationally are 'more likely to be innovative within their firm', according to the survey, with 65% of these businesses having launched a new product or service in the last year.

The BCC has urged the government to 'do more to boost business confidence at the Autumn Budget', and to 'incentivise import and export growth'. It believes that this will encourage firms to 'take risks and break into new markets', thereby helping to enhance innovation and productivity in the UK.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, said: 'Firms have been dealing with uncertainty over the future relationship with the EU since the referendum vote over two years ago. However, this survey shows that as we get closer to the crunch, the lack of precision is starting to have a material impact on their decision-making.'