Britain is supposed to leave the 28-nation European Union by the end of this month, and more than a quarter of Finnish companies say it’s going to impact their business – while the same amount say they have no clue what’s going on.
Those are some of the key findings in a new study by the Central Chamber of Commerce published on Wednesday morning which finds 26.5% believe Brexit will have a direct impact on their work; while less than half 48.4% say Brexit won’t have any impact on their business.
Meanwhile a further 25% of Finnish companies have no idea if Brexit will impact them and the Chamber of Commerce thinks that’s a particular problem.
“The number of companies uncertain about the impact of Brexit is 25.1%, which is exceptionally high. Either companies are not sufficiently prepared for Brexit, or they are not yet in a position to assess the situation, as the various Brexit options are still open” says Timo Vuori, Director of International Affairs at the Central Chamber of Commerce.
The new study ahead of Brexit was carried out at the end of September and involved more than 700 companies from all over Finland. One third of them were industrial companies, and half of those responding employed 10-49 people, while 30% were larger, employing up to 249 staff.
The Chamber of Commerce finds that even companies who say they’ve prepared well for Brexit doesn’t guarantee they’ve anticipated all the possible problems Brexit will throw up, especially when it comes to supply chain issues.
“The UK’s departure from the EU customs union can also lead to congestion at ports, in warehouses and with airfreight” warns Vuori.
The United Kingdom accounts for around 4.5% of Finland’s total exports and about 3% of total imports.
The Chamber of Commerce points out that if Britain does reach a withdrawal agreement with the EU soon – it could come still this week, or if Boris Johnson requests an extension to get a deal agreed and through the UK parliament – then trade with the UK would continue as it does now for a transition period until the end of 2020.