Twenty nine percent of UK businesses have made plans for life after Brexit while 43% have conducted meetings discussing the opportunities and risks associated with the UK departing the European Union, according to a research by the ICAEW.

The ICAEW surveyed 500 of its members working in the industry and commerce and 40% of businesses who have been looking at the issue both formally or informally believe that the Brexit negotiations will have a negative impact on their businesses compared to only six percent who expected a positive impact. 28% of businesses stated that Brexit negotiations will have a fairly equal mix of positive and negative impact on their businesses while 24% see no impact or minimum impact. The remaining two percent were uncertain of the impact.

The survey found that 29% of respondents saw the free movement of goods, services and capital between the UK and the EU as essential to the growth of their organisations while one fifth referred to access to skilled workforce from EU as an essential factor for  growth.

ICAEW chief executive Michael Izza said: “Issues raised within our research – such as access to skilled EU workers and the free movement of goods and services – should be firmly placed on the Prime Minister’s radar when she engages in talks with the EU to ensure the priorities of business are fully considered and complacency is avoided.”

There are a number of businesses who are enthusiastic about export prospects; Izza continued referring to the 21% of respondents who said they are ready to explore new markets outside of the EU.

“However their enthusiasm will be nothing more than a pipe dream if Government doesn’t provide the necessary funding and support,” Izza said. “This should begin with devising a robust export voucher scheme that is fit for purpose, as well as renewing or replacing programmes such as the European Investment Fund to avoid venture capital from drying up.”