UK businesses urged to step up preparations for no-deal Brexit (Guardian)
- The Institute of Directors (the “IoD”), a UK employers’ group, says its members have failed to take advantage of the seven-month delay.
- In a survey of almost 1000 companies, the proportion of companies with active contingency plans rose from 18% to only 23% between January and April this year.
- The central government has provided very limited financial support to small businesses, despite calls from the IoD for Brexit planning vouchers to help small and medium-sized enterprises to receive professional advice on the trade and legal issues associated with Brexit.
- Tesco’s chief executive, Dave Lewis, noted that it was particularly hard for supermarkets to plan for Brexit, general stockpiling capacity will be even more limited because in October, supermarkets will be stocking for Halloween and preparing for Christmas.
Boris Johnson must pay EU’s £39 billion Brexit bill if he becomes prime minister, says Chancellor (Independent)
- The financial settlement payable by the UK covers commitments by the EU to fund the current EU budget round and includes liabilities such as pension payments for EU civil servants.
- “At least part of the sum which was agreed to be paid is part of our obligations under the existing EU budget so I would not recommend any of my colleagues to threaten to withhold payments which are part of an existing obligation that the UK has”, cautioned Philip Hammond, in a disguised warning to Boris Johnson, who has threatened withholding payment as leverage for further concessions from the EU.
- Mr Hammond urged Conservative party leadership candidates to commit to a policy of austerity and that this was the only responsible option
- The EU has said the UK must settle the issue of the divorce bill, the Northern Ireland border and citizens’ rights, before it opens any trade talks with the UK.