UK factories view border delays as a major Brexit risk - EEF

FILE PHOTO: A worker holds a component for a Volvo truck at the Muller manufacturing facility in Redditch, Britain August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Staples/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - More than three-quarters of British manufacturers say delays at the border after Brexit would be a risk for their business, a survey from an industry body showed on Monday.

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29 but what will actually happen on that day remains far from clear -- a problem for businesses which routinely import and export goods and materials.

The future of Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal struck with the EU hangs in the balance as a parliamentary vote looms, raising the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without a deal to smooth the economic shock.

Monday’s report from the EEF manufacturing association and insurer AIG showed 76 percent of their members thought delays at the border represented a risk to their business.

“While companies are naturally optimistic by their very nature, the spectre of Brexit is now very front of mind for manufacturers,” EEF chief executive Stephen Phipson said.

“This is bringing with it a whole host of risks from increased exchange rate volatility to rising input costs which right now are very difficult to plan for.”

The survey showed 62 percent of manufacturers were looking to stockpile goods ahead of Brexit - something that has already given a temporary boost to factory activity, according to a business survey last week. [GB/PMIM]

The EEF/AIG survey of 242 companies took place between Nov. 1 and Nov. 29.

Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken