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Article 50 plan creating uncertainty for firms – report

The Prime Minister's plan to trigger Article 50 by the end of the month has created uncertainty for businesses, a new report warns.

Firms are being more cautious about future spending plans until they know what the impact of Brexit negotiations will be on the economy, said the ICAEW, which represents chartered accountants.

The institute predicted that business investment will fall by 1.9% this year.

Stephen Ibbotson, ICAEW director of business, said: "Ensuring the UK is match-fit for Brexit is a marathon, not a sprint, and so more focus should be placed on long-term projects that drive productivity and enable businesses to flourish within a landscape that is yet to be explored.

“Although beneficial exchange rates are helping businesses to trade internationally currently, the Government export target needs to be more realistic.

“This ‘rush to grow’ phenomenon we are currently seeing among businesses who are holding onto their British bulldog spirit is unsustainable in the long term.

“It is, therefore, the Government’s obligation to provide funding, incentives, and support that will enable businesses to take advantage of global opportunities once Brexit negotiations have begun.”