THE UK’s leading business group has called on the government to answer 26 key questions with less than 100 days to go until Brexit.

The British Chambers of Commerce, representing more than 75,000 firms of all sizes and sectors, has submitted the document alongside new research which suggests business preparation for the coming changes is low due to the unprecedented challenges facing them.

Many of the unanswered questions reflect fundamental aspects of how companies operate. Among other things:

Firms do not know what rules of origin will apply after the transition period, preventing them and their customers from planning and potentially creating unprecedented new administration and costs.

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There is no clarity on how food and drink due to be sold in the EU and Northern Ireland is to be labelled.

There is very limited guidance on the movement of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland; and no information on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, key to ‘levelling up’ the regions and nations - despite years of calls for clarity.

BCC director general Adam Marshall said: “With just 98 days to go, business communities face the triple threat of a resurgent Coronavirus, receding government support schemes, and a disorderly end to the transition period.

“Significant unanswered questions remain for businesses, and despite recent public information campaigns, base levels of preparedness are low.

“Many firms say they’ve heard talk of deadlines and cliff edges before, and others are still grappling with fundamental challenges as a result of the pandemic and have little cash or information with which to plan.

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While we recognise that some of the questions facing businesses are subject to ongoing negotiations between the government and the EU, other matters are within the UK’s own hands.

“The government must ramp up engagement with business urgently – to the levels seen prior to previous ‘no deal’ deadlines – to ensure that the real-world issues facing firms get tackled immediately.

“The ‘Check, Change, Go’ campaign gives the impression that Brexit-related changes are like getting an MOT – whereas the reality is that for many businesses, they’re more akin to planning a moon landing.

“Businesses need honest communication about the complexity of the changes they face – and stronger encouragement to act.”