From Charles Riley, CNN Business
Weeks after the Brexit vote in June 2016, Japan urged the United Kingdom to negotiate its EU divorce quickly and transparently to protect business. Firms needed to avoid a situation “in which they are unable to discern clearly the way the Brexit negotiations are going, only grasping the whole picture at the last minute,” the Japanese government said.
Two and a half years later, and with just 10 days left on the Brexit countdown clock, that’s precisely the position all companies — Japanese or otherwise — find themselves in. And the risk of a damaging disorderly Brexit has never looked more likely.
The car industry is in crisis. Financial service companies are moving abroad. Supermarkets are fretting supply chain disruptions. And frustration is boiling over.
Here are some of the most dire warnings from business leaders:
Siemens: A top Siemens executive said Monday that chaos over Brexit is wrecking the United Kingdom’s reputation as a place to do business and turning it into a “laughing stock.”
“Enough is enough. We are all running out of patience,” said Juergen Maier, the CEO of Siemens UK.
EasyJet: The discount carrier warned Monday that continued uncertainty over Brexit was reducing demand for flights in Europe. It said the pain could continue during the crucial summer season.
EasyJet said the confusion contributed to a massive £275 million ($359 million) loss for the six months ending March 31.
Airbus: Tom Enders, the CEO of the European planemaker, said in January that a disorderly split from the European Union would cause Airbus to redirect future investment away from Britain.
“Make no mistake, there are plenty of countries out there that would love to build the wings for Airbus aircraft,” he added.
McDonald’s: The fast food chain joined KFC, Pret a Manger and UK supermarkets to warn in January that crashing out of the European Union would result in “significant” disruptionsto their supply chains.
While we have been working closely with our suppliers on contingency plans it is not possible to mitigate all the risks to our supply chains,” McDonald’s and the other companies said.