Businesses not prepared for Brexit, warns Pickett

Businesses not prepared for Brexit, warns Pickett

Businesses are not prepared for Brexit, according to Graham Pickett, Deloitte’s lead partner for travel.

Speaking in a personal capacity, Pickett told a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast audience that companies should have contingency plans in place in case there is a vote to leave Europe.

“Tui believes it is prepared, but a lot of businesses are not,” he said. “If corporates have not organised their foreign exchange planning, that’s an issue. The second factor is if they are not communicating [the impact of Brexit] with employees who work overseas.

“Any sensible business should be doing sensitivity analysis around what will happen [but] from what I am hearing, for a lot of corporates, it’s business as usual.”

Pickett said businesses had been surprisingly quiet on the issue of Europe. He added: “Our economy is on a knife-edge. We have just been through a recession; we are pretty brittle to impact shocks. If there is a vote to come out there will be a shock and that will impact UK plc.”

Nigel Huddleston, MP for Mid Worcestershire, said companies could regret “sitting on the fence”.

The former Google head of travel added: “It’s irresponsible. We could have people voting themselves out of a job and not realising it.”

But political activist and Times columnist, Tim Montgomerie, suggested there would be plenty of time for companies to adjust.

“It will be at least two years before we leave the EU,” he said. “Businesses will have time to prepare for this. It will be like a divorce: I get the dog, you get the house. Then calmness will come through.”

He conceded: “There will be some loss of access to the single market, but I think there will be an upside. We can get rid of a lot of [business] red tape.”


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