British Exporters Face Potential Hit From Brexit Border Delays

(Bloomberg) -- With the U.K. set to exit the European Union at the end of the month, exporters are bracing for a financial hit that could be significant.

A Brexit border delay of only one day could mean canceled contracts for about one in 10 British exporters, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply released on Monday. One in five businesses in the EU is expected to push for a discount from U.K. suppliers, the report found.

The survey highlights rising anxiety among businesses as Parliament heads to a vote on Tuesday on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, with expectations it will be rejected again after an overwhelming defeat in January.

If export complications persist for two or three weeks, many European companies would turn to back-up suppliers elsewhere, while a no-deal Brexit would lead to thousands of exporters being turned away at the border if they can’t comply with EU customs rules, according to the survey.

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

The findings come from a survey of more than 1,700 U.K. and EU managers responsible for handling customs and negotiating with suppliers.

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