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Companies in the dark on no-deal Brexit planning, directors warn

File photo dated 09/03/17 of the London skyline as seen from Tower 42 with the 'Gherkin' (foreground), 30 St Mary Axe and Canary Wharf (background) prominent. London's powerhouse financial sector finds itself at a critical juncture with Article 50 about to be triggered, as the Square Mile braces itself for a jobs exodus and the potential loss of European trading rights following Brexit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday March 28, 2017. See PA story POLITICS Brexit SquareMile. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

By Alan Jones, Press Association Industrial Correspondent

Firms have been left in the dark over planning for Brexit amid an "information void", according to a leading business group.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) called on the Government to speed up guidance on what companies should expect if no deal is reached on leaving the EU.

A survey of 800 business leaders showed that fewer than a third had made any Brexit contingency planning.

Many said they were waiting for clarity about the future relationship with the EU.

Stephen Martin, director general of the IoD, said: "Many companies are still unprepared for Brexit, and it's hard to blame them. When it comes to knowing what to plan for and when, firms have been left in the dark.

"Trade associations like the IoD are doing their best to fill the information void, but the reality is that many companies feel they can only make changes once there is tangible information about what they are adjusting to.

"As long as no deal remains a possibility, it is essential that the Government steps up to the plate and provides advice on preparing for such an outcome.

"We therefore urge them to speed up publication of the technical notices. This should also help make companies more alert to the need to prepare now for all eventualities.

"Any transition period must take account of the fact that many businesses feel they can only adjust once there is clarity about the direction of travel."

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