One In Three UK Manufacturers Say Brexit Is Hitting Headcount.

12 April, 19

Subcon, the UK’s premier subcontract manufacturing supply chain show, has today revealed the first wave of figures from its annual barometer of the UK manufacturing and engineering, with more than a third of respondents suspending or decreasing headcount in the wake of Brexit.

A further 32 per cent are suspending or decreasing investment in equipment purchases, and 28 per cent applying the same caution to research and development (R&D). 30 per cent of respondents have put European expansion plans on hold or cut funding.

Whilst just over half of UK businesses (55 per cent) remain confident that they are correctly structured to handle the challenges of the UK exit from the EU, 48 per cent admit they are not adequately funded to do so.

When it comes to the specific preparations for Brexit:
• One third of respondents have created, or are in the process of establishing partnerships with companies in Europe to facilitate continued trading
• 27 per cent have submitted credentials for cross border certification, such as AEO
• 23 per cent have created, or are developing subsidiaries or divisions of existing companies on the Continent
• 15 per cent have built, or are building new premises on mainland Europe

“With more than two-thirds of our attendees and exhibitors doing business in Europe, there is no denying that Brexit will form the backdrop to most conversations at Subcon this year,” said event director Gordon Kirk.

“We even recognise this in the conference programme with Stephen Phipson, CEO of MakeUK, delivering a presentation on what the EU withdrawal is most likely to mean for the UK manufacturing supply chain. But what these figures show is that these conversations are going to be borne of the cautious, pragmatic nature that has served UK industry so well in the past.”

For further details and to register for this must-attend event, please visit

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